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Crisis in aviation: Rosaviatsia targeted by cyberattack

Cyber attack exposes vulnerability of Russian aviation sector

Ukrainian intelligence claims to have hit the Russian aeronautical agency Rosaviatsia with a cyberattack, causing problems for the Russian flight sector, already in difficulty due to sanctions that limit maintenance and spare parts.

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According to sources in the Ukrainian intelligence service subordinate to the Ministry of Defense, a cyber attack was conducted against the Russian federal air transport agency, Rosaviatsia, highlighting an alleged crisis in the Russian aviation sector. This entity regulates civil aviation in Russia and manages documentation relating to flights and aircraft accidents. The data breach alleges a state of difficulty for the Russian aviation sector caused by international sanctions and problems in aircraft maintenance.

Impacts of sanctions on the russian aviation sector

Western sanctions that limit the purchase of spare parts and software updates have severely affected Russian airlines' maintenance capabilities. It should be noted that, since 2022, these have had to resort to dismantling older aircraft to ensure the correct functioning of their operational fleets.

Results of the analysis of trafficked documents

Ukrainian intelligence released the stolen data via a file-sharing site, which is currently no longer accessible, so there is no independent verification of its authenticity. However, the Ukrainian entity underlines that a worrying picture emerges from the analysis of the documents: in January 2023 alone, Russia reported 185 plane crashes, a third of which were considered serious, with the Sukhoi Superjet recording 34 emergencies. There is also a tripling of technical failures in the period January-September 2023, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Official reactions and confirmations

These problems are directly linked to the current sanctions regime and have led to an increase in uncertified maintenance, the use of non-genuine spare parts and the practice of "aeronautical cannibalism", with some aircraft being disassembled to obtain spare parts. The Ukrainian government says the consequences of such practices are evident in the handling of foreign-made civil aircraft. An independent verification of the Ukrainian claims has so far not been possible and Rosaviatsia has not yet provided official comments.

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11/27/2023 19:18

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