White House official to discuss Ukraine cyber security with European allies

A general view of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A White House cyber security official will meet European counterparts this week to discuss the threat of cyber attacks against Ukraine by Russia, the White House said.

Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, will meet European Union and NATO officials in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss "deterring, disrupting, and responding to further Russian aggression against Ukraine," the White House said.

Neuberger will then travel to Warsaw and meet her Polish and Baltic counterparts, the White House said.

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The trip will include discussions with eastern flank NATO allies and virtual meetings with German and French officials, with the goal of preparing for cyber attacks and supporting Ukraine.

The visit comes after a massive cyberattack warning Ukrainians to "be afraid and expect the worst" hit government websites in mid-January, leaving some pages inaccessible and prompting Kyiv to open an investigation.

Kyiv believes a hacker group linked to intelligence in Belarus, a close ally of Russia, carried out the cyberattack using malware similar to that used by a group tied to Russian intelligence.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops along the border with Ukraine, spurring fears of war. Although Russia denies it is planning an invasion, it is demanding sweeping security guarantees including a promise NATO never admit Ukraine.

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Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by Robert Birsel

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