Several European countries said they are on high alert for cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure operators because of the war in Ukraine. Lithuanian deputy defense minister Margiris Abukevičius said in an interview that authorities have noticed a small increase in attempts to test the country’s critical infrastructure since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, a step that hackers take in planning attacks.
Poland is a target for cyberattacks from Russia “because of the fact that Poland is involved, its strong stance from the beginning of the war and it has strong support for Ukraine,” said Janusz Cieszyński, the country’s state secretary and plenipotentiary for cybersecurity.
Officials haven’t seen major attacks since the start of the war, Mr. Cieszyński said. The Polish prime minister’s office introduced an elevated alert level for cyberattacks that is still in place.
Romania’s cybersecurity agency has noticed a significant increase in scanning for cybersecurity flaws on the infrastructure it monitors, which includes critical infrastructure and other types of organizations, said Dan Cimpean, the agency’s director. The agency identified IP addresses that it said were used to launch cyberattacks that appear to be connected to the war in Ukraine, and it circulated the list of IP addresses among companies and internet service providers in March. After internet service providers blocked the IP addresses, hackers switched to different servers to carry out more attacks, he said. The agency continues to publish IP addresses when they are identified, he added.
Since the start of the war, destructive wiper malware used in Ukraine has also been used in ransomware attacks against Romanian companies, Mr. Cimpean said. The type of malware, known as HermeticWiper, can delete data on a machine.
While European countries haven’t reported major cyberattacks, there have been smaller website disruptions and attacks on companies. European countries in the Baltic region have experienced cyberattacks on digital government services, said Chris Kubecka, a cyber warfare specialist who traveled to Ukraine and documented cyberattacks there.
European critical infrastructure companies and firms that issued statements in favor of sanctions against Russia have also been targets for hackers, Ms. Kubecka added. “These things are occurring everyday now,” she said.