Russia engaged in cyber operations worldwide, Ukraine's top diplomat tells UNSC
Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, during a UN Security Council Arria-formula discussion on cybersecurity, held May 22, 2020, urged Russia to cease cyberattacks aimed at destabilizing other countries.
Ukraine strongly advocates bringing to justice those who "intentionally organize and carry out cyber attacks", and believes that existing international law, prohibiting states from attacking others, applies in cyberspace as it does elsewhere.
Since 2014, Ukraine has been facing hybrid aggression on the part of Russia, which has been using information and communication technologies as one of the methods of hybrid war, the press service of Ukraine's Permanent Mission to the UN reported, referring to Kuleba.
"We are the state where new cyber warfare is being tested by Russia against us and where a hybrid war one day made our nation re-think our national security strategy," the top diplomat said.
Ukraine has thus gained a unique practical experience in neutralizing cyberattacks that may be useful to partner countries, said the minister.
He noted that throughout 2019, Ukraine authorities had detected and promptly reacted to over 1,500 cyber incidents on critical infrastructure facilities. Moreover, other western states have also faced Russia's hostile cyber behavior, and hold Kremlin responsible for destructive cyber-attacks with sophisticated new malware, Kuleba added.
"We are aware, that using the information and communication technologies as a political tool, Russia is engaged in a range of cyber operations aimed at disinformation campaigns, intervention into sovereign election processes, cyber espionage and cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure facilities in a number of countries in Europe and beyond," the Ukrainian foreign minister stressed.
He noted that "such malicious activity is becoming especially challenging in the face of a lockdown we are all trapped in due to the COVID-19 outbreak".
"In the light of the ongoing pandemic, countries all across the globe are reporting an increase in cybercrime, in particular in hospitals, medical laboratories and other critical infrastructure. That is why more attention to the cybersecurity is required from us today," the minister said.
Kuleba said Ukraine "firmly opposes any attempts undertaken by Russian Federation to conduct a 'quasi-leading role' at the UN in promoting campaigns aimed to strengthen international information and cybersecurity".
"Being currently a State, which conducted proven targeted cyber-attacks against Ukrainian energy facilities and other objects of Ukraine's critical infrastructure, Russia should immediately stop using modern computer technologies with destabilization and crisis-creating purposes," Dmytro Kuleba stressed.
In conclusion, the foreign minister noted that reliable mechanisms need to be introduced "to detect, punish and bring to justice individuals and relevant States, responsible for coordinating and financing illicit activities in the global cyberspace".
"We should consolidate our efforts to elaborate 'rules of the game' with purpose of preventing any attempt to discredit such eminent achievement of the humanity as computer technologies," said Dmytro Kuleba.