A top U.S. cyber official is in Europe this week to “elevate cybersecurity as a top-tier priority at NATO and with international partners,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters Tuesday morning.
Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, starts her trip in Brussels to meet with counterparts at NATO and the European Union to discuss “deterring, disrupting, and responding to further Russian aggression against Ukraine, neighboring states, and in our respective countries,” the official said.
Neuberger also will make a stop in Warsaw to meet with Polish and other Baltic region officials. The week also will include “virtual meetings” with German and French officials.
The trip comes as Russian military buildup along its border with Ukraine continues, and cyberattacks against Ukrainian government and nongovernmental organizations continue unabated. The U.S. and other NATO governments say military escalation could happen at any time and that the Russian government is looking for — or perhaps willing to manufacture — a pretext to escalate its war on Ukraine.
Russian officials say the U.S. and its allies are pushing for war, and Ukrainian officials say that although the threats are real, U.S. proclamations are stirring “panic.”
Victor Zhora, a top cyber official in Ukraine, told CyberScoop on Monday that his country appreciates help from the U.S. and other Western governments in sorting through the cyberattacks that pepper his country. The latest — a phishing attack using purported emails from the National Health Service — was announced Monday, two days after another phishing attack using compromised judiciary emails was announced. Both come after some government systems were wiped in an attack on Jan. 14, as well as dozens of agencies’ websites defaced.
All of it follows years of Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine dating back to 2014.
The U.S. government and private U.S. cyber companies have long warned about and detailed the Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine, including the more recent iterations. U.S. officials say the current spate of attacks is designed to destabilize Ukraine and help pave the way for military escalation, and that even with coordination to harden against digital intrusions, some will succeed and response and recovery help is part of the plan.
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