Viasat Attributes Outage to "Cyber Event"

American communications company Viasat Inc. says a ‘cyber event’ is disrupting its satellite internet services in Ukraine and Europe.

Based in Carlsbad, California, with additional operations across the United States and worldwide, Viasat provides high-speed satellite broadband services and secure networking systems covering military and commercial markets.

The issue lies with the company’s Ka-SAT satellite, which Viasat bought from the satellite’s launcher and previous owner Eutelsat in April 2021. 

The timing of the disruption coincides with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authorization of “special military operations” in Ukraine, with multiple ISPs reporting outages since the early hours of February 24.

PaxEX.Aero confirmed three outages but said as many as six may have occurred. Impacted ISPs include one in France and EUSANET in Germany

“We are investigating and analyzing our European network and systems to identify the root cause and are taking additional network precautions to prevent further impacts while we attempt to recover service to affected customers,” said a Viasat spokesperson on February 26.

On Monday, the company said that it believed that a ‘cyber event’ was to blame for the ongoing outage still under investigation.

“Viasat is experiencing a partial network outage impacting internet service for fixed broadband customers in Ukraine and elsewhere on our European KA-SAT network,” the California-based company said in a statement to CNBC.

Viasat did not say how many customers had been affected by the incident. 

On Sunday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on social media that his company’s service is “active in Ukraine,” with “more terminals en route” to provide Ukrainians with internet access. 

Musk’s comment was written in response to a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of Digital Transformation, for support from Starlink.

Fedorov wrote on Twitter: “@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars – Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space – Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

On Monday, Fedorov posted a photo of a truck full of Starlink equipment along with the message: “Starlink – here. Thanks, @elonmusk.” 

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