BRITAIN was told to brace for a massive cyber onslaught in the run up to possible war in Ukraine.
Hoards of Russian of web-warriors are expected lash out as Putin faces mounting pressure over his bloodbath threats to invade.
The National Cyber Security Council issued a rare national alert after a spate of malicious cyber-attacks had the hallmarks of Kremlin-backed hackers.
“UK organisations are being urged to bolster their cyber security resilience in response to the malicious cyber incidents in and around Ukraine,” the UK’s cyber-guards said.
It comes amid warnings that Putin could double the troops on the border if he orders an all out conquest.
Cyper-ops chief Paul Chichester said: “Last week’s incidents in Ukraine bear the hallmarks of similar Russian activity.”
One attack took down almost 70 official linked websites while another wiped servers with malware.
The NCSC said they echoed attacks by the GRU, Russia’s miltiary intelligence agency, against Ukraine in 2017 and Georgia in 2019.
“While we are unaware of any specific cyber threats to UK organisations in relation to events in Ukraine it is vital that organisations…ensure they are resilient,” Chichester added.
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Around 127,000 Russians – roughly 40 per cent of Russia’s army – have surrounded Ukraine on three sides.
They include 35,000 in Belarus, just a few hour’s drive from Kyiv, according to British estimates.
The troops in Belarus are due to take part in war games next week which are perfect cover for a strike on Kyiv, a top western intelligence source said.
“If they want to launch an attack that is smaller and shorter than a full-scale occupation, they could do so today with little or no warning,” he told The Sun.
But if Putin plans to take and hold the largest country in Europe he will have to double number of soldiers from 60 battle groups to “north of 100” he added.
The Kremlin has aslready shipped in units from as far away as Siberia for the first time since Hitler invaded Russia in 1941.
“It is unprecedented in the modern era,” he said.
“They have the forces available. They have the wherewithal to move them and they seem to have the will to do so.”
Asked how long it would take, he said: “Probably a couple weeks.”
By Ben Leo
THE race to develop new superfast quantum computers is set to result in total data meltdown, cyber experts warn.
The UK, US, Russia and China are scrambling to develop machines — that can crack encryption in seconds instead of years — to gain an advantage in the cybersphere.
But industry experts say if the tech reaches its full potential it would spark a “quantum apocalypse” — where encrypted and secret files are suddenly cracked open.
In the wrong hands, military defence systems could be wiped out and bank accounts drained.
Ilyas Khan (pictured), head of Cambridge and Colorado-based firm Quantinuum — which is looking at solutions to stop the catastrophe — warned quantum computers are “a threat to our way of life”.
Boffins are already working to make the UK’s top secret data quantum-proof.