The U.S Promises Cybersecurity Assistance To Ukraine

Infosecurity | March 05, 2020

  • It is anticipated that the project will raise a total of $38m which will be spent on improving Ukraine's cybersecurity.

  • The cybersecurity assistance funds will be used to develop cyber workforce and regulatory reforms.

  • The two countries also discussed critical infrastructure, 5G network security, and cyber incident response plans.

The U.S State Department has pledged $8 million in cybersecurity assistance funds to Ukraine as part of a “cyber dialogue” held on Tuesday in Kyiv between officials from the two countries.


A new cybersecurity project sponsored by USAID (the US Agency for International Development) will be the beneficiary of the promised injection of American dollars. Over the next four years, it is anticipated that the project will raise a total of $38m, all of which will be spent on improving Ukraine's cybersecurity including workforce development and regulatory reforms.


Back in 2017, as part of the first U.S.-Ukraine cyber dialogue summit, the U. S. had given $10 million as cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine. The two countries met again in 2018 to review their cybersecurity projects.


As per the State Department, the most recent meet was to reaffirm the "our shared commitment to ensure an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure cyberspace in which all states behave responsibly.”


Joseph Pennington, the acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S Embassy in Kyiv, officials from the FBI, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Treasury departments were in the American delegation that participated in the cybersecurity dialogue.


Ruslan Nimchynskyi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs director-general for international security, led Ukraine’s interagency delegation.


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Cybersecurity issues including strengthening critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, 5G network security, and cyber incident response plans were discussed. On the agenda also were cyber-capacity building and international cyber-policy issues, including engagements in multilateral fora and policies around public attribution. 


The new funds were given two months after Ukrainian authorities asked the FBI to assist in investigating an attack on Ukrainian gas company Burisma by Russian military hackers.


Burisma has been in the spotlight in recent months due to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which began after an anonymous whistleblower report alleged that Trump had tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the company's board between 2014 and 2019.


Ukraine has also long been seen as a testbed for Russian hackers, particularly in the wake of geopolitical tensions between the two countries in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.


READ MORE: Singapore announces cyber command to defend on the cyberspace frontier

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