The United Kingdom on Sunday announced a “major expansion” to its Ukraine Cyber Program, which has seen British experts provide remote incident response support to the Ukrainian government following Russian cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.
It follows the British government last year announcing that personnel from cyber and signals intelligence agency GCHQ had been contributing to Ukraine’s defense, including by providing protection against the Industroyer2 malware, alongside delivering hardware and software and limiting “attacker access to vital networks.”
The new funding will also support the provision of “forensic capabilities to enable Ukrainian cyber experts to analyze system compromises, attribute attackers and build better evidence to prosecute these indiscriminate attacks,” said Number 10.
Illia Vitiuk, who heads the Security Service of Ukraine’s department of cyber and information security, has repeatedly called for those perpetrating destructive cyberattacks on civilian infrastructure including schools to be referred to the International Criminal Court and prosecuted for war crimes.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain would more than double its funding to the Ukraine Cyber Program — up from £6.35 million ($8.14 million) to £16 million ($20 million), with room for an additional £9 million ($11.5 million) from international allies.
It comes as Sunak prepares to “make the case for the private sector to join the counteroffensive against Russia by supporting Ukraine through investment,” according to his office, and follows the UK delivering long-range Storm Shadow missiles last month.
“Russia’s appalling attacks on Ukraine are not limited to their barbaric land invasion, but also involve sickening attempts to attack their cyber infrastructure that provides vital services, from banking to energy supplies, to innocent Ukrainian people,” said Sunak.
“This funding is critical to stopping those onslaughts, hardening Ukraine’s cyber defences and increasing the country’s ability to detect and disable the malware targeted at them.”