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Ukraine's telecom sector has been cyberattacked

Ukrtelecom, a Ukrainian telecommunications company, is working to restore services after a "powerful" cyberattack on Monday disrupted its operations.

Ukrtelecom said Tuesday that it was operating at 85 percent of capacity before the attack, according to translated updates posted on its Facebook page. The company provides phone and internet services in the country, as well as mobile services.

On Monday, the watchdog group NetBlocks shared data on Twitter that showed Ukrtelecom's connectivity had "collapsed to 13 percent of pre-war levels."

"Real-time network data show an ongoing and intensifying nation-scale disruption to service, which is the most severe registered since the invasion by Russia," the organization said.

Ukrtelecom said in a translated Facebook post that its IT and technical specialists "repulsed" the attack.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, experts have warned of increased cyberthreats, with experts predicting attacks from Russia that will be larger and more widespread. Given the negative impact that losing telecommunications services can have on many people, they are likely to be popular targets.

The threat is not limited to Ukraine; US regulators have also issued warnings about increased risks.

According to a Feb. 25 alert from the New York State Department of Financial Services, "Russia’s ongoing cyberattacks against Ukraine could spillover and damage networks outside of Ukraine—as has happened in the past. Escalating tension between the U.S. and Russia also increases the risk that Russian threat actors will directly attack U.S. critical infrastructure in retaliation for sanctions or other steps taken by the U.S. government."

Companies that want to test their cyber defenses are increasingly using tabletop exercises. Compliance Week's latest members-only case study, "Ransomware Attack," published in February, delves into the trend.


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