The CNI orders to turn off public computers to abort possible cyberattacks


The National Cryptologic Center (CCN)attached to the National Intelligence Center (CNI), has launched a internal alert to all public administrations -state, regional and local- ordering official computers to be shut down in which there are remote connections to laptops and desktops, before the possibility that Russia launch a massive cyberattack on administrations and European companies.

The alert was sent from five in the afternoon on Friday to those responsible for the different ministries, as well as to the IT departments of the regional governments, including the Valencian one.

The statement asks all officials to “Proceed to turn off equipment whose ignition is dispensable during this weekend” as a preventive measure. A day earlier, on Thursday, they had reminded all civil servants and people from embassies and consulates to change their passwords. Whoever does not change them will lose access, because the CCN ” will expire” in the next few days, that is, it will delete them, in anticipation that they may have been hacked or violated with purchases of password packages.

These are the two basic preventive measures against any cyber attack, whether or not it has a military origin. The managing partner of the Valencian cybersecurity expert company S2 Grupo -it is a contractor in this area not only for the Generalitat Valenciana, but also for the central government, leading companies and European organizations- explains it clearly.

“In times of hybrid warfare, with conventional but also ‘cyber’ combat, it is important to reduce risks to increase efficiency. For this reason, these measures are very logical, since they reduce the surface of exposure, so that all defenses to repel the most dangerous attacks, those aimed at critical systems, from the electricity network to the banking network, passing through any other of a strategic nature”. And computers with remote connections are more vulnerable to the introduction of “elements that completely destroy a computer” or “worm campaigns without human intervention”.

Years withstanding cyberattacks

The head of S2 Grupo recalls that Russia’s cyberwar against Ukraine “it’s not from nowhas been going on for many years, with high-impact incidents like NotPetya in 2017, for example.”

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Rosell, who is also a member of the Committee of Independent Experts of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, explains that the cybernetic aspect of hybrid warfare seeks to “destabilize the enemy by breaking its financial, electrical, supply systems for raw materials and basic necessities.” or flooding it with hoaxes and false news that sow chaos among the population”.

For this reason, he explains, the European Union “has long understood, and is already working on it, the absolute need not to depend on third parties, neither friends nor enemies, in terms of technology, just as it seeks to be independent in other essential resources “.


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