Since President Vladimir Putin launched his military offensive into Ukraine on February 24, Russia has been the target of a seemingly nonstop series of cyberattacks.
Although government agencies and people in the country are no stranger to attacks by cybercriminals, the sharp increase in hacking cases since the war broke out is unprecedented. . According to the National Interest, from intruders linked to Kiev, to illegal hackers like Anonymous and even “lone wolves”, Russian entities have been and are being retaliated for because of the war. in a neighboring country.
Ukrainian intelligence has released a series of data that they claim contain the names, dates of birth, passport numbers and job titles of Russian soldiers who were stationed in the town of Bucha, Ukraine, which shocked the world. about mass graves and many dead bodies lying on the street. Another file made public by Kiev is said to contain the names and contact information of more than 600 intelligence officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
Although experts point out that the archives of aerial data are not new, they are assembled and organized from previous leaks and the dissemination of this personal data, especially about Russian agents, could cause serious harm. more potential problems. Threats to them could include public or online harassment of Russian military personnel, agents or those close to them, or make them the target of sanctions from foreign governments and international.
In addition, it will be more difficult for anyone on such lists to return to normal life after the war is over, with countless independent hacker groups continuing to hunt them down.
In addition to targeting members of the Russian military and intelligence services, hackers have also targeted state television stations, state utility companies and even individuals in the country. Despite being far from the frontline areas of Ukraine, Russian citizens are still caught up in the fighting between the two sides, in cyberspace.
According to statistics, nearly a fifth of the victims of cyber attacks globally since the end of February this year are Russians. On average, every second two internet users in Russia have their networks hacked and their personal data leaked. This could have profound long-term effects on the Russian people, who are already facing economic hardship because of Western sanctions. Specifically, when hackers extract tens of terabytes of data from Russian online accounts, this private data can be exploited to harm them both now and in the future.
This outbreak of cyber attacks can be partly attributed to the waning fear of Russian retaliation and a sudden increase in anti-Moscow sentiment along with its military offensive against Ukraine. With the fighting showing no signs of abating, the United States has launched a legal and policy campaign to disrupt and stop dangerous hackers, which Washington accuses of having ties to Russian authorities.
Many experts have considered Russia’s sophisticated and successful cyberattacks early in the war to imply that the country has bigger plans. However, for now, reports from cybersecurity companies and revelations from governments have led many to believe that Moscow is losing ground in the online war. Realizing the weakness and prompted by Ukraine’s calls for armed help, hackers from all over the world joined the cyber war against Russia.
Online repositories like DDS have been managing an ever-expanding portfolio of hacked and stolen data from energy companies, banks, media censors, government contractors , mining companies, investment companies and more essential sectors of Russia. When sensitive Russian data in all fields is leaked, some analysts predict extremely severe effects, which could devastate Russia’s ability to operate normally or further destabilize the country. the country’s economy. Intelligence agencies around the world can capture this data to their detriment, leaving Russia decades to recover.
Some other observers believe that such leaks are only caused by malicious hackers, and that other countries’ authorities may pay little attention to such incidents, making emails or documents difficult. Stolen internals doesn’t make much sense. To date, all leaked data from Russia has not been analyzed and it is likely to take months for Russian-speaking analysts to scrutinize them.
In fact, governments and news agencies around the world are taking advantage of repositories like DDS. Journalists and war crime investigators can use that data to determine who knew what, when, and which groups were involved. One way or another, the explosion of sensitive information is likely to shed some light on what the world used to know about the Russian government and businesses.
Russian hackers have tried “tit-for-tat” but with only modest success. High-tech criminal groups like Gamaredon (also known as Armageddon or Shuckworm) have been spreading new malware variants in Ukraine. However, these variants are just a refresh of the spyware from 2016 and are far from many people’s predictions for attack tools with catastrophic consequences like the BlackEnergy malware.
Since the beginning of the war, cybersecurity experts from the Five Eyes group (consisting of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), Ukraine and industry giants also claim to have blocked many Russian attempts to hinder Ukraine’s defenses. Email address hacks in Ukraine have dropped by about 58% over the past two months, although this drop may be in part because many people evacuate, network services are down, import death or death.