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Institute of Hazard, Risk & Resilience Seminar Series, Igor Kotsiuba, Monday 17th October 2022

Dr Igor Kotsiuba, CARA visiting fellow, Durham University

Title: Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine and a role academia played to boost preparedness


Abstract: Today seeing the conventional and unconventional threats we as academia can find a synergy and establish a multidisciplinary collaboration in order to enable cybersecurity knowledge management and bring decisive analytics for businesses and supragovernmental organizations. It can be important to constitute the research objectives based on lessons of attacks on Ukrainian Critical Infrastructure and businesses in Europe and innovation actions taken to boost resilience and decision support.

The Ukrainian energy power grid constitutes the energy gates of Europe to the east. As a result, Ukraine becomes very often a challenging target for launching cyberattacks, data attacks, and personal attacks. On December 23, 2015, a ‘temporary malfunction of the power supply’ in three provinces in Ukraine resulted in power outages that lasted up to six hours and affected 225,000 customers. And this incident was not the only one. Following the event, an investigation identified evidence that several regional Ukraine power control systems had been compromised by cyberattacks. Nevertheless, this incident was one of the most known cybersecurity episodes, having a high-impact, across Europe and globally. In addition, this was the first publicly documented successful cyberattack on a national grid, which was followed by many questions and investigations. It is obvious that such an incident – having so high impact – could be connected to attacks on the media and to targeted cyber-espionage attacks against Ukrainian governmental agencies. This is for sure a threat to the Ukrainian governmental assets, while it could be potentially a threat to the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


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