Russo-Ukrainian War Highlights Cyber Threats to Satellite Communications

Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine demonstrates that hypothetical scenarios of cyberattacks paralyzing satellite communications are already taking place.
Satellite orbiting around Earth

On February 24, the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, large parts of American satellite company Viasat’s KA-SAT network of high speed satellite services experienced disruptions resulting in partial network outages throughout Ukraine and several European countries. Tens of thousands of terminals suffered permanent damage and many were still offline more than two weeks later. Viktor Zhora, deputy chief of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection, described the satellite outage as “a really huge loss in communications in the very beginning of war.” Among others relying on KA-SAT are Ukraine’s military, intelligence, and police units.

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