Madame President, Commissioner, Colleagues,
Before Russian bombs fell on Kyiv, Odessa and Mariupol, there were Russian cyber-attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Microsoft alone documented over 200 such attacks. In 2015, the Russian military intelligence hacker group Sandworm shut down critical infrastructure and triggered a power outage for thousands of Ukrainians. The Kremlin tried to repeat the trick two weeks ago but thanks to the US the attack could be prevented.
In times of hybrid warfare, also the EU faces a new threat. We cannot always rely on the help of our allies or on the incompetence of our adversary. As we phase out Russian oil and gas, Putin will only intensify cyber-attacks on our energy sector.
The continent – Europe – of prosperity and highly educated people has all resources needed to bolster European defences against cyber attacks. However, we also need more political will and leadership. It is time to grow cyber capabilities at home and not to outsource the development of hardware and software abroad.