The Government has joined EU and international partners to strongly condemn the campaign of destructive cyber activity by Russia against Ukraine, Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta announced today.
“These relentless attacks are part of a pattern of disruptive cyber activity that demonstrates a repeated disregard for the rules-based international order and established norms in cyberspace,” Minister Mahuta said.
“President Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and sponsorship of an ongoing campaign of disinformation and malicious cyber activity against Ukraine is unacceptable.
“New Zealand is committed to responding to Putin’s aggression on all fronts. Alongside our partners we continue to support the global effort to pressure Russia to end this illegal war,” she said.
The campaign of activity attributed to Russia by the EU, US, UK, Australia, Canada and other international partners includes the deployment of destructive malware on Ukrainian government and private sector networks; distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks which rendered certain Ukrainian banking systems unavailable; and the late-February attack on commercially operated satellite systems which disrupted communications and internet services across Europe.
“This further rebuke of Russia’s despicable actions comes on the back of additional sanctions we’ve introduced that specifically target Russian disinformation and malicious cyber activity,” Ms Mahuta said.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, New Zealand has introduced five rounds of sanctions covering over 700 Russian individuals and entities. This includes propagandists, the head of Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU), two GRU units responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine, and others.
“Our response to the war in Ukraine is the most significant response to an international crisis we’ve undertaken as a nation in recent history. New Zealand will continue to work at pace to roll out further measures under the Russia Sanctions Act to support Ukraine and stop those associated with Russia’s war,” Ms Mahuta said.
Further information on sanctions taken under the Russia Sanctions Act 2022 can be found at: www.mfat.govt.nz/Russia-Sanctions.
The GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre has also issued advice on how organisations can strengthen their cyber security readiness against the threat of Russia’s malicious cyber activity www.ncsc.govt.nz.