According to SpaceX CEO Ilona Maska, Russia is stepping up efforts to disrupt Ukraine’s Starlink Internet connection. He said Starlink had so far resisted all Russian hacking.

Musk tweeted that the United States, Britain, Canada, Estonia and the EU have accused Russia of cyberattacking a satellite Internet that has shut down tens of thousands of modems amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.

On February 24, during the Russian invasion, Ukrainian fiber-optic communications and cellular communications infrastructure were disrupted.

About 5,000 Starlink terminals were handed over to this war-torn country by SpaceX and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Last month, Viasat confirmed that malware that removes the modem violated Viasat’s fixed broadband service in Ukraine and parts of Europe connected to the KA-SAT satellite network.

On Twitter, the billionaire made it clear that Starlink has so far resisted Russian attempts to silence and hack into cyberwar, “but they are stepping up their efforts.”


After the Russian invasion of Ukraine damaged the country’s Internet infrastructure, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov asked Mask for help. Musk responded by sending Starlink terminals to Ukraine, and the network has since been tried to shut down or hack it.

Earlier this month, the minister said that there were about 150,000 active Starlink users a day in the country, providing critical support for Ukraine’s infrastructure and rebuilding destroyed areas.

Satellite communication has become an important tool, but it has also become a popular target for hackers.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has updated its advice to satellite operators and their customers on how to protect networks from espionage and cyber attacks. A recent statement said: “Recent public statements by the United States and the European Union have stated that the Russian military has launched cyber attacks against commercial satellite communications to disrupt Ukrainian command and control in February 2022.”

According to the agency, this cyber activity against Ukraine highlights the risk of espionage and disruption of VSAT communications.

The NSA issued a recommendation to U.S. government agencies a month before Viasat’s multi-day shutdown in Europe, warning that VSAT communication is often not provided during transportation. According to the NSA, VSAT virtual network sharing cannot be trusted to ensure access control, sharing, or confidentiality of confidential information, and therefore recommends using a VPN for secure VSAT communication.

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The NSA’s amendment warning has largely unchanged, but now contains a new section acknowledging EU and US guilt in Russia’s military attacks on VSAT.

As a result of this activity, VSAT was reportedly shut down throughout Ukraine and Europe, including tens of thousands of terminals outside Ukraine, which, among other things, maintain wind turbines and provide Internet services to private consumers.


It is very rare for the EU to blame a third country for a cyber attack. Individuals from North Korea, Russia and China have been sanctioned across the EU for their role in previous cyberattacks on European countries, albeit a few years after attacks such as WannaCry and NotPetya.

However, according to a recent study by the German Institute for International Affairs and Security (SWP), attribution at EU level is difficult, in part because only a few EU member states, such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Estonia, Austria, France and Germany, – have the technical capacity or political will to do so.

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In addition, according to the parameters of the EU cyber diplomacy instruments of 2017, the EU refrained from attributing cyber attacks to third countries because the actions of each member state are a sovereign political decision.

The EU said that the Russian military attack on the Viasat network contradicted the expectations of all UN member states regarding the responsible behavior and intentions of cyberspace, including the Russian Federation.

The European Commission is currently working on a formal opinion on Ukraine’s emergency application for EU membership.

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