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Ukraine calls for Cyber United Nations to be developed

Ukraine’s leading cyber security official has proposed the development of a “Cyber United Nations” to fight the growing threat of cyber warfare and cyber crime.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 17 Jan 2023
Ukraine calls for Cyber United Nations to be developed
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The head of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection, Yurii Shchyhol, has said that the development of an international body that shares information on cyber threats between nations and strengthens international cyber defences is key in ensuring the globe from the growing cyber threat.

“We need the Cyber United Nations, nations united in cyber space in order to protect ourselves, effectively protect our world for the future, the cyber world, and our real, conventional world.

“What we really need in this situation is a hub or a venue where we can exchange information, support each other and interact.”


Shchyhol has said that the establishment of a single international entity should be shared by countries of the “civilized world”, suggesting that Russia and its allies are excluded.

He added, saying the idea is one that Ukraine’s allies “tend to agree with, the United States first of all”. However, this has not been proven in any other way.

Former US State Department cyber coordinator Christopher Painter said that comparing the idea to the UN, while excluding certain countries “doesn’t really fit”.

The call for a Cyber UN comes as the frequency and amplitude of cyber warfare has become unprecedented during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine has suffered at the hands of countless Russian cyber attacks affecting critical infrastructure, affecting both the Ukrainian military and civilians.

Shchyhol has also suggested that cyber warfare may grow to become more of a danger than physical warfare, due to the potential it has to bring down entire nations’ infrastructure.

“Cyber attacks will become as powerful or maybe even more powerful than the conventional attacks, and the consequences of cyber attacks are on such a big scale that we should not underestimate the effects,” he said.

Ukraine has also suggested that Russian cyber attacks could constitute war crimes and is currently collecting evidence to present to the International Criminal Court.

Ukraine’s Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Victor Zhora, has said that cyber attacks have been used in coordination with kinetic attacks, which have been used on civilians, and as a result, should be ruled as war crimes.

“When we observe the situation in cyber space, we notice some coordination between kinetic strikes and cyber attacks, and since the majority of kinetic attacks are organised against civilians — being a direct act of war crime — supportive actions in cyber can be considered as war crimes,” he said.

Cyber and kinetic attacks from Russia have targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure, such as that in the country’s biggest private energy investor, DTEK.

“[DTEK’s] thermal power plant was shelled, and simultaneously, their corporate network was attacked,” said Zhora.

“It’s directed and planned activity from Russians, which they did both in [the] conventional domain and in [the] cyber domain.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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