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Australia could test its cyber strength in Ukraine

Ukraine could prove to be the perfect testing ground for Australian cyber capabilities, according to the Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia.

user icon Daniel Croft
Thu, 27 Apr 2023
Australia could test its cyber strength in Ukraine
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Ambassador Myroshnychenko Vasyl has urged that Australian cyber support for Ukraine to assist it in defending against Russian attacks would help Australia bolster and test its own defences.

“Providing cyber assistance can be beneficial for Australia as well. We haven’t seen a war like this before, and Australia deals with cyber attacks on a daily basis,” he told the Australian Associated Press.

“The countries that get the continual feedback will be the countries helping in Ukraine.”

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Intelligence agencies worldwide are providing the Ukrainian government with cyber support, including AUKUS and its allies.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has gathered information suggesting that Russian attacks against critical infrastructure and other targets will evolve, meaning Ukraine will need further assistance going forward.

The recent Defence Strategic Review (DSR) has shown that Australia is placing an increased focus on cyber in the future of national defence.

Dr John Kunkel, senior economic adviser with the Economic Security Program at the United States Studies Centre, has said that the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) has shown that emerging technologies are playing a greater role in defence and that it will be the cooperative role of both the government and the private sector to help secure Australia’s defences.

“The DSR specifically highlights the importance of new and emerging technologies in securing an asymmetric advantage over an opponent’s dissimilar capabilities,” he said.

Dr Kunkel also said that Australia should align its future defence strategy with its AUKUS allies, as part of the second stage of the alliance, with the first stage being the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

“We need equal focus on AUKUS Pillar II — our national offering in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum and cyber,” said Dr Kunkel.

The call for Australian assistance comes just as Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts said that while there is significant interest in developing cyber relations between Australia and Ukraine, Australia is unable to provide cyber funding at this time.

“We always carefully consider requests for assistance from the Ukrainian government,” Watts wrote early last month.

“I note your interest in further developing cooperation between Ukraine and Australia in the field of cyber and critical infrastructure, including within the framework of the counter-ransomware initiative.

“While we are not in a position to provide direct funding for cyber security-related initiatives at this time, we see great value in progressing the bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue between Ukrainian and Australian officials, initiating in 2022, to facilitate the sharing of expertise and experience.”

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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