The lessons to be learned from the war in Ukraine will be at the heart of the Paris Cyber Summit which opens this Wednesday. The opportunity to look into the Russian cyberattack attempts that Ukraine has to face, which is resisting well thanks to the support of the Allies and in particular the Americans.
This is Europe’s annual cybersecurity meeting. The Paris Cyber Summit opens this Wednesday at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. Ten European ministers, 300 decision-makers and around sixty speakers will be present, including Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of digital who will give the opening speech from kyiv.
For three months, the war in Ukraine has also been played out in cyberspace. Attacks on critical infrastructure, misinformation, destabilization… Intrusion attempts are on the rise. But the “digital Pearl Harbor”, namely a very large-scale cyberattack that experts feared, did not take place.
A well-prepared Ukrainian cyber defense
Apart from the one that targeted the KA-SAT satellite, an hour before the Russian invasion on February 24 and which hampered the communications of the army and the police, the Ukrainian global architecture resisted. Because it was well prepared, supported since 2014 by the Allies and in particular the Americans. But the Russians continue today to try to flatten the computer systems of the country.
According to Arthur de Liedekerke, former staff of the cyber defense command and now project manager at the consulting firm Rasmussen Global, this threat is growing as the conflict gets bogged down. “In most plausible scenarios that are emerging, we have Moscow which is cornered, bogged down in a war of attrition with kyiv, with relatively few levers to influence the course of events”, he explains at the microphone of Europe 1.
Ukraine wants to go on the offensive
Arthur de Liedekerke adds: “It’s a safe bet that the Kremlin will have more recourse to the cyber domain as an ideal, inexpensive vector for simultaneously circumventing its international isolation, spying on Westerners, stealing the technologies and intellectual properties whose Russia will be private, while maintaining this nuisance ability to cause trouble through disinformation operations.”
Caution for the Ukrainians but also for the Europeans and the Allies, since it is not excluded that cyberattacks will intensify around the Madrid summit at the end of June, while Sweden and Finland will ask to return to the Atlantic Alliance. According to this expert, Ukraine would now be maneuvering to move from a defensive position to an offensive position in cyberspace. And in turn attempt to damage digital infrastructure on Russian territory.