US, Ukraine sign pact to expand cooperation in cyberspace

(AP Photo/Christina A. Cassidy)

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) signed an agreement Wednesday with Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the cyberspace, including the commitment to share more information and conduct training sessions together.

CISA signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ukrainian State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) amid the eastern European country’s ongoing war with Russia, an aggressor in the digital realm that has attacked both Ukrainian and American cyber networks and infrastructure in the past.

The cooperation pact bolsters information sharing on cyber incidents and creates pathways between the two agencies to share key data on critical infrastructure. It also authorizes joint exercises and training sessions between the two agencies.

CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a statement Wednesday she was “incredibly pleased” to sign the pact with Ukraine.

“I applaud Ukraine’s heroic efforts to defend its nation against unprecedented Russian cyber aggression and have been incredibly moved by the resiliency and bravery of the Ukrainian people throughout this unprovoked war,” Easterly said.

“Cyber threats cross borders and oceans, and so we look forward to building on our existing relationship with SSSCIP to share information and collectively build global resilience against cyber threats,” she added.

U.S. and European Union cyber teams helped Ukraine prepare for the Russian invasion, which was launched in late February, assisting the country in shoring up its defenses in the cyber realm.

The efforts paid off, helping Ukraine defend its critical infrastructure from Russian hackers and aggressors seeking to hamstring the economy and functions ahead of its invasion.

Last month, U.S. Cyber Command Director Gen. Paul Nakasone revealed that American cyberteams had also partnered with Ukraine to conduct a “series of operations” in support of the nation.

He did not give any further details, but the comments suggest the U.S. has further aided Ukraine against Russian cyberhackers.

Oleksandr Potii, the deputy chairman of Ukraine’s SSSCIP, said in the Wednesday CISA statement that the new cooperation agreement “represents an enduring partnership” between the two countries.

Tags CISA Cybersecurity threats cyberspace Jen Easterly Jen Easterly pact Paul Nakasone SSSCIP Ukraine US

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