Romania Helping Ukraine Fight Russian Cyber Espionage

Romania seeks to be a regional leader in cyber securityUkraine says Russia’s Federal Security Service is coordinating attacks on government offices as part of a proxy war against Ukraine’s government, amid real fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east. Ukrainian security operatives say that, with Romania’s help, they have foiled attempts to spread malicious software intended to disable the government’s computer network or steal intelligence.

At NATO’s summit last year in Wales, President Barack Obama and other leaders decided to create five “trust funds” — or narrowly focused programs funded by NATO member counties that are meant to help Ukraine reform and modernize its defense capabilities. — including one for cyber defense to help Ukraine’s military modernize.

Romania, a member of NATO’s cyber coalition exercises, volunteered to lead the Ukraine Cyber Defense Trust Fund — and tapped the state-owned Rasirom company. The alliance notes the Rasirom, the cyber-security provider for Romania’s top state institutions, has “a rich experience in cyber defense.”

“We are trying to be a regional leader,” Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said in e meeting with foreign media outlets. “That is why Romania … has been appointed by NATO to be in charge of (Ukraine’s) cyber security and preventing cyber warfare.”

At the opening of a regional conference on cyber security, U.S deputy Secretary for Commerce Bruce Andrews on Monday praised Romanian company Bitdefender which created “Bitdefender Box.” one of the first security products made specifically for home networks. It protects devices by scanning network traffic to detect and block potential security threats and noted that Romanian was the second language spoken at Microsoft in offices around the world, after English….

Europol is also tapping into Romania’s cyber savvy. The European police agency’s chief, Ron Wainright, said 20 percent of Europol’s cyber defense experts are Romanian police officers. “The expertise that Romanian specialists bring in their daily fight against this threat is extraordinary,” he said on a recent visit to Bucharest.

Image: Romania seeks to be a regional leader in cyber security (graphic: Flickr/CC)