Increased Risk for Russian Cyberattacks

- in In English, Internationellt, News, Nyheter

With Russias invasion of Ukraine yesterday the world, as well as Lund University, is preparing itself for cyber attacks.

Russia’s recent invasion of the Ukraine has not just been limited to the moving of its troops across their shared border; Instead, Russia has been implementing a form of hybrid warfare, namely launching cyberattacks. These attacks have ranged from fake bomb threats to overloading servers, thereby preventing online banking services and temporarily disrupting the Ukrainian Defense Ministries website, writes The Wall Street Journal. A targeted data-wiping virus has also been discovered on several Ukrainian servers. 

In reaction, several countries have pledged to help the Ukraine strengthen its systems, even sending an expert team to help prevent and combat any further attacks. However, the fallout might not be limited to Ukraine.

Governments and private companies across the globe are warning of a potential increase in Russian cyber activity. United States Congressman Jim Langevin, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, had the following to say: “We have to be realistic and understand that as we impose sanctions—we take actions—there could be blowback here.” 

Companies and Individuals are advised to keep software up to date, use multi-factor authentication, and flag any suspicious emails. 

Lund University is also aware of the potential threat. A leak of the confidential research the university conducts could have unforeseen repercussions. Worse yet, Lund’s systems could be used as a part of a larger attack targeting a third party, due to its connections to several government organizations.

As such Lundagård reached out to Victor Öwall, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Infrastructure and Digitalization at Lund’s University, to see how the school will be handling the situation. He gave the following statement: “Our internet provider, SUNET, and the university’s internal IT security team are paying increased attention to all activity and certain protective measures have been taken. However, we are dependent on everyone, both employees and students alike, to be extra attentive to unusual things; for example, receiving unexpected or strangely worded emails.”

Susanne Kristensson, the University Director, seconded this: “Cyber security is important to all authorities and companies as today’s digital societies are very vulnerable. There are legal requirements on how authorities must secure their processes and systems and the University is no exception. When we see increased instability in Europe as we now do, it is a good opportunity to remind employees of digital security. Therefore, an email was sent out to all employees, however the security thinking must be constantly present.”