UK to give major boost to Ukraine cyber defences ~ funding will help protect critical national infrastructure and vital services.
Press Release, Downing Street, 18 June 2023: The UK will roll out a major expansion to its cyber defence programme in Ukraine, protecting the country’s critical national infrastructure from crippling Russian attacks.
The programme, which supports Ukraine’s Government to rapidly respond to and defend vital government services against debilitating cyber-attacks, will be boosted by an injection of up to £25 million and a two-year expansion. The package will include £16 million in UK funding and potential for a further £9 million contribution from international allies.
It is the latest tranche of UK support to Ukraine as the country mounts its counter-offensive against Russian forces that have brutally invaded the country, using all domains to sow instability and attempt to destroy Ukraine’s rightful sovereignty.
The Prime Minister, who will this week make the case for the private sector to join the counter-offensive against Russia by supporting Ukraine through investment, will say that it is vital the international community hardens Ukraine’s defences to enable it to protect and grow investment into the country. Ukraine has successfully fought back a number of cyber-attacks by Russian forces, including destructive wiper-ware attacks and covert espionage-ware attacks.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “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.
“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.”
The UK-funded Ukraine Cyber Programme (UCP) uses world-leading expertise, from both the private and public sector, to protect Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure and vital public services. The support, which builds on the Foreign Secretary’s announcement of £6.35 million for the programme last year, will also fund and provide forensic capabilities to enable Ukrainian cyber experts to analyse system compromises, attribute attackers and build better evidence to prosecute these indiscriminate attacks.
In addition to boosting cyber defences, the UK has also stepped up its military support to Ukraine. This week, the UK contributed a further £250 million to the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU), which announced it would provide a major package of air defence, including radars, guns and ammunition to Kyiv to protect Ukrainian cities from indiscriminate Russian attacks. That announcement followed the delivery of the UK’s long-range missile strike capability Storm Shadow last month, which has provided Ukraine with game-changing capability to defend itself from Russian attacks and degrade the capability of invading Russian forces.