War in Ukraine: thousands of internet users deprived of internet in France and Europe following a probable cyberattack

According to Orange, "nearly 9,000 subscribers" to a satellite internet service from its subsidiary Nordnet, in France, are deprived of the internet following a "cyber-event" which occurred on February 24.


War in Ukraine: thousands of internet users deprived of internet in France and Europe following a probable cyberattack

Thousands of Internet users are deprived of the Internet in France and Europe due to a probable cyberattack on a satellite network, which occurred at the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine , according to concordant sources. According to Orange, "nearly 9,000 subscribers" to a satellite internet service from its subsidiary Nordnet, in France, are deprived of the internet following a "cyber-event" which occurred on February 24 within Viasat, a American satellite operator of which he is the customer.


"Partial network failure"

Eutelsat, parent company of the bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed to AFP on Friday evening that around a third of the 40,000 bigblu subscribers in Europe (Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Poland) were affected. by the breakdown on Viasat. In the United States, Viasat said on Wednesday that a "cyber event" had caused "a partial network outage" for customers "in Ukraine and elsewhere" in Europe dependent on its KA-SAT satellite.


"Cyber-event"

Viasat gave no further details, confining itself to indicating that "the police and state partners" had been notified and "were providing assistance" for the investigations. If the euphemism "cyber-event" left little doubt that it was a cyberattack, the fact was confirmed on Thursday by General Michel Friedling, who heads the French Space Command. "For a few days, shortly after the start of operations, we have had a satellite network which covers Europe in particular and in particular Ukraine which was the victim of a cyber attack, with tens of thousands of terminals which have been returned inoperative immediately after this attack", he indicated, specifying that he was speaking "of a civilian network, Viasat".


The fear of a "cyber-Armageddon"

Military and cyber specialists fear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will give rise to an outbreak of cyberattacks, a "cyber-Armageddon" with significant consequences for civilians in Ukraine and Russia, but also in the rest of the world, as a result of overflow or "splash", according to the term used recently by a French military official.

For now, the worst-case scenario seems to have been avoided, with the observed attacks appearing to be contained in their effects and geographic scale. Cybersecurity companies have observed attacks in Ukraine with a new data-destroying virus, the real effects of which are little known.

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