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Tech giant Cisco built special device to help Kyiv ward off cyberattacks on power grid

by Lance Luo November 26, 2023 1:06 AM 2 min read
Workers dismantle a destroyed transformer at a missile-damaged electricity sub-station, operated by NPC Ukrenergo in 2023. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Cisco delivered to Kyiv in April 2023 a special prototype device that will help Ukraine's power grid defend against Russian attacks this winter, CNN reported.

The pizza box-sized prototypes were shipped using a US plane carrying humanitarian aid. They are designed to keep the energy grid running and ward off Russian cyberattacks.

"Cisco, along with power grid experts in the public and private sector, worked tirelessly for 8 months to develop, test and deploy our solution to Ukraine," Joe Marshall, Cisco Talos security strategist, told Business Insider.

In April, the Cisco devices were loaded onto a US Air Force plane traveling to a military airfield in Rzeszów, Poland. Ukrenergo engineers worked on adapting the products to align with energy needs.

"It involved a great deal of trial and error, but we managed to develop a unique solution that helps mitigate the GPS jamming issue."

In April, the prototypes were loaded onto a US Air Force plane carrying humanitarian aid from a military base on the East Coast to Rzeszów, Poland, near the Ukrainian border, CNN reported.

The prototypes are valued at about $1 million a piece but were offered for free by Cisco.

"Fighting the good fight isn't just about cybersecurity. It's about doing the right thing and helping others in the face of adversity," Marshall said.

"We knew that this work was our chance to make a tangible difference to Ukrainians, who are living in an active war zone. We knew this solution would help save lives - and keep the lights on in Ukraine."

Ukraine-founded tech service company SupportYourApp finds a way forward during war
Editor’s Note: This story was sponsored by the Ukraine-founded international tech service company SupportYourApp. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the international tech service company SupportYourApp, founded in Kyiv, wasn’t sure what would happen to its business. Its clients were worried: How would…
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