A senior White House official will meet with European allies this week to discuss ways to support Ukraine’s digital defenses in the event of Russian cyberattacks, a senior Biden administration official told CNN.
The trip to Brussels and Warsaw by Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, comes after still-unidentified hackers targeted multiple Ukrainian government agencies in January, and as US officials try to anticipate any potential shift in Russian hacking threats to US networks.
Neuberger will meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union officials to discuss “ways to enhance national and Alliance resilience in cyberspace,” the official said, “including deterring, disrupting and responding to further Russian aggression against Ukraine, neighboring states, and in our respective countries.”
Neuberger also has meetings scheduled with Baltic, French, German and Polish officials in an effort to ensure US allies are on the same page in responding to any cyberattacks, the official said.
Neuberger’s visit underscores how US officials see cyberspace as a potential front in any further incursion into Ukraine by Russia, which has amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border. Ukrainian officials have told CNN that they expect hacking to play a role in any new military offensive.
The US could respond with cyberoperations of its own should Russia conduct additional cyberattacks in Ukraine, President Joe Biden said at a January 19 press conference.
Days earlier, a pair of cyberattacks targeted several Ukrainian government agencies that in some cases posted threatening messages to Ukrainians, and in other cases deleted data from government computer systems.
Some Ukrainian officials have suggested Russia could be involved in the hacks, but investigators are still analyzing forensic data and have not officially laid blame for the incidents.