Ukraine calls for “Cyber United Nations” as Russian aggression continues

Ukraine’s cybersecurity officials are proposing to establish “Cyber United Nations” to protect the world from cyberattacks amid the ongoing hostility from Russia.

Yurii Shchyhol, the head of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection reflected on the past year of constant cyberattacks on Ukraine and suggested that there is a need for “one space, one cyberspace” shared by countries in the “civilized world.”

“We need the Cyber United Nations, nations united in cyberspace in order to protect ourselves, effectively protect our world for the future, the cyber world, and our real, conventional world,” Shchyhol told POLITICO through an interpreter. “What we really need in this situation is a hub or a venue where we can exchange information, support each other and interact.”

The union would most definitely exclude Russia and its allies, such as Iran, which is believed to be supplying drones to support the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

So far, it is unclear whether Ukraine’s allies will support the proposal. Christopher Painter, who served as the State Department’s cyber coordinator under both the Obama and Trump administrations, said that it doesn’t exactly live up to the comparison with the UN, as the idea suggests more of a “big tent group.” He, however, agreed that increased cooperation and collective response are absolutely needed.

Ever since the outbreak of the war, Ukraine has been constantly hit with cyberattacks from Russia – to various degrees of success. As such, Ukrainian state-owned telecommunications company Ukrtelecom experienced a cyberattack back in June, attempting to disrupt Ukraine’s military communications.

Similarly, Ukrainian government websites have been hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks, which turn the infected computers into “bots.”

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