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VILNIUS: Lithuania’s central bank has told the country’s banks to prepare for power cuts and cyberattacks as Russia’s standoff with Ukraine risks spilling over into a military conflict, according to a document and two sources familiar with the matter. Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, prompting fears of an invasion.

Losing electricity and internet access are among “extreme but possible” scenarios that Lithuania’s central bank told finance companies to be ready for in a letter sent to them last week and seen by Reuters. Lithuania, as well as Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia, shares a common power grid with Russia run from Moscow.

“Increased geopolitical tension in the region leads to increased threats of cyber-attacks, including attacks on critical information infrastructure,” the central bank warned in the letter.

The letter did not name any possible hackers. The Lithuanian central bank did not respond to a request for comment.

The warning comes as EU regulators more generally have told banks to prepare for potential Russian cyberattacks, and some financial firms conduct cyber war games to test their ability to withstand them.

Lithuanian banks should have contingency plans in place for cyber assaults such as ransomware and DDoS attacks, in which hackers try to flood a network with high volumes of data traffic, the central bank said in the letter.

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