EU and Ukraine to mount joint exercise to defend against Russian cyberattacks

Western nations fear upcoming presidential elections could be influenced by disinformation

fake news

The Ukraine and EU are set to conduct several joint exercises to develop an appropriate response to future Russian cyberattacks connected with upcoming elections in the country.

According to a press statement released by the Ukrainian government, ensuring the cyber security of the upcoming presidential elections is a crucial issue for the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC). The NSDC is the organisation responsible for national security and defence in the country and is directly controlled by the Ukrainian president.

With the support of the EU, joint exercises will take place, during which different scenarios of cyber interference will be modelled and models of response to cyber threats will be developed.

"The available information indicates that Russia intends to use the entire arsenal, including cybernetic means, to influence the democratic will of the Ukrainian people," said Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov.

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The exercises are set to take place in the near future, but no set date was given. However, the Ukrainian presidential elections are set to take place at the end of March. The elections present Russian with an opportunity to establish a regime more favourable to Russian interests.

Turchynov said that in a previous meeting of Ukraine's National Coordination Centre for Cybersecurity, the Central Election Commission (CEC) concluded a memorandum of cooperation with cybersecurity organisations, "within which election commissions will be provided with comprehensive technical and methodological assistance".

Ukraine will also coordinate work between the NSDC, CEC, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), and the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP).

"Twenty-four-hour alert of the SSU and the SSSCIP forces and facilities will be launched to identify, prevent and suppress any unauthorised actions with the CEC information resources," said Turchynov.

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