Volunteer hackers from around the world wage digital war against Russia
Photo: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images
One of the fronts of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been technological, where the government of Vladimir Putin used his military intelligence to attack enemy systems as part of his war.
However, the answer came and from all over the world; hackers from practically all over the planet joined in the mission to counteract the Russian offensive, initially to government sites in Russia, and some in Ukraine, mainly with anti-war messages.
According to The New York Times, "This is crazy, this is unprecedented," said Matt Olney, director of threat intelligence at security company Cisco Talos. “This is not going to be just a conflict between nations. There will be participants who will not be under the strict control of any government.”
The New York media explains that For experts, the hundreds of hackers now competing to support their respective governments represent a drastic and unpredictable expansion of cyber warfare.
Furthermore, it describes how the involvement of volunteer hackers makes it more difficult to determine who is responsible for an online attack.
Last Saturday, March 5, Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov sent a message to cybersecurity enthusiasts on a Telegram channel containing instructions to take down Russian websites. "There will be homework for everyone." As of Friday, the Telegram channel had more than 285,000 subscribers.
“We are creating a tech army,” he tweeted.
Yegor Aushev, co-founder of the Ukrainian cybersecurity company Cyber Unit Technologies, said he received a flood of notes after posting on social media a call for programmers to get involved. His company offered a $100,000 reward to those who identified flaws in the code of Russian cyber targets.
“It has become an independent machine, a distributed international digital army,” Aushev said. "The biggest cyber attacks against Russia will be carried out soon," he added, without elaborating.
A Russian counteroffensive is prepared
The New York Times quoted Alex Holden, founder of cybersecurity company Hold Security and who has studied Russian ransomware groups, as saying that the volunteer attacks on the Russian government will likely draw a harsh response. "Those who support the Russian government and its invasion of Ukraine are preparing to retaliate against a number of different targets," Holden said.
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