Last fall, as the temperatures in Ukraine fell, the nation’s power grid software was attacked by hackers from Russia which made it difficult for the Ukrainians to make repairs.
This year, the Ukrainians are getting an assist from a big tech company in the US.
CNN broke the news that Cisco has been quietly stress-testing custom-built equipment to help prevent a similar cyber attack this year.
Cisco and US officials from the Biden administration confirmed that the tech company had manufactured dozens of the devices to help prevent power grid GPS equipment from being attacked.
GPS is used by power grid software to help precisely measure time over wide areas and allow outages to be traced back to the point of origin more quickly.
As the Russians bombed the Ukrainian substations and power grid components, they were also using hackers to target the GPS systems to make it hard to expedite the repairs.
Cisco has since shipped the devices, and Ukrenergo, the company that oversees the nation’s power grid, confirmed that they were working successfully.
This isn’t the first time the Ukrainians have received aid from big tech.
Microsoft reportedly helped the Ukrainian government move servers outside the country to prevent them from being targets of Russian bombs.
Palantir, a data analytics company in Denver that was co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, is helping the Ukrainians hit Russian targets more effectively.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellites were revealed to be providing a stable communications platform for the people of Ukraine, but CEO Elon Musk drew the line at helping the Ukrainian army use the satellites to provide communications during military operations.