Britain warns of cyberattacks as Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates


Figurines with computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words "Cyber Attack", binary codes, and Russian and Ukrainian flags, in this illustration taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain warned of potential cyberattacks with "international consequences" on Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Puitin ordered troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of the GCHQ eavesdropping intelligence agency, called on British organisations to "bolster their online defences" following the developments.

"While the NCSC is not aware of any current specific threats to UK organisations in relation to events in and around Ukraine, there has been an historical pattern of cyber attacks on Ukraine with international consequences," it said in a statement.

Last week, Ukranian banking and government websites were briefly knocked offline by a spate of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks which the United States and Britain said were carried out by Russian military hackers.

Russia rejected the allegations.

Six European Union countries are sending a team of cybersecurity experts to Ukraine to help deal with cyber threats, Lithuania's deputy defence minister said on Tuesday.

In response to a request from Ukraine on Monday, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Croatia will send the team of experts they set up earlier to help other EU countries, institutions and partners to cope with cyber threats, Deputy Defence Minister Margiris Abukevicius said.

(Reporting by James Pearson, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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