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The UK steps up to protect Georgia attacked by Russia “to test its cyber capabilities”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced over £5 million in additional funding to Georgia to help it prepare for Russia’s cyber aggression.

In a press release, Russia is accused of using Georgia to test its cyber capabilities since 2008 by using some of the world’s first coordinated attacks during the annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The announced funding is meant to help Georgia prepare a new cybersecurity strategy and strengthen their defenses.

“The people of Georgia live every day on the frontline of Russian aggression. Putin cannot be allowed to use Georgia’s sovereign institutions to sharpen the knife of his cyber capability,” Johnson said.

NATO will grant additional support which will be agreed upon during the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Madrid, with a heavy focus on increased defense training.

“The UK has world-leading cyber prowess and the support announced today will protect not just Georgia, but also the UK and all other free democracies threatened by Russian hostility,” Johnson added.

In 2019, Georgian web hosting providers and international partners were hit by a disruptive cyberattack coordinated by the GRU. As a result, a number of high-profile websites, such as those of the Georgian Government, courts, non-government organizations (NGOs,) media, and businesses, were defaced and TV channels interrupted.

“The GRU’s reckless and brazen campaign of cyberattacks against Georgia, a sovereign and independent nation, is totally unacceptable,” the then-defense secretary Dominic Raab said after the attack. “The UK will continue to expose those who conduct reckless cyberattacks and work with our allies to counter the GRU’s menacing behaviour.”

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