scorecardExperts fear possible cyber war by Russia against Ukraine amid ongoing tensions
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Experts fear possible cyber war by Russia against Ukraine amid ongoing tensions

Experts fear possible cyber war by Russia against Ukraine amid ongoing tensions
Tech3 min read
  • Amid tensions of a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia, there’s also fear of cyber attacks.
  • Russia which is notorious for launching cyberattacks is expected to follow a similar strategy against Ukraine as well.
  • Here’s how this could turn out for Ukraine and if it will affect countries too.
There’s a looming threat of a possible war between Russia and Ukraine with the increasing buildup of Russian soldiers on Ukraine’s borders. There are estimated to be around 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine's borders, according to a report by BBC. What could accompany this war or could play a major role are cyberattacks launched by Russia on not just Ukraine but other countries as well.

If a war does occur between the two countries there’s an impending fear of Russia invading Ukraine and the use of cyberattacks is going to be a major weapon, according to cybersecurity experts, Venture Beat reported. The possibility is likely since Russia has had a history of launching cyberattacks during its previous military campaigns.
Cyber attacks can prove advantageous in the event of a war as you would be able to take control of the country’s government systems thereby disrupting communications and information which are vital during such a situation. “The idea behind it is that if you cripple the country physically at their border while crippling access to banking, electricity, health services, and IT systems, your attack is much more powerful,” Venture Beat quoted Mathieu Gorge, CEO of cybersecurity firm VigiTrust as saying.
Previous incidents
Russia is notorious for launching cyber attacks and it is even responsible for the most expensive cyberattack so far that caused damages worth $10 billion. This is the 2017 NotPetya attack launched by Russia against Ukrainian banks, ministries, newspapers and electricity firms. But the virus spread through other countries including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Russia is also believed to have been behind the attacks on the company SolarWinds which is said to be the biggest software supply chain attack so far.

Ukraine has already been hit with cyber attacks and these took place last month when a new malware “WhisperGate” attacked over 70 government websites. Ukraine blamed Russia for this breach which took place as tensions rose between the two countries.
New cyber attack strategy
Disrupting the software supply chain system could be one of the strategies that Russia adopts for its future cyber campaigns, the report added. It would be similar to the SolarWinds breach where its software Orion was hacked to spread updates with trojan viruses. Orion was used by major US telecommunication companies, military branches including universities and colleges worldwide.
How Russia could use cyber attacks
Russia could use these cyberattacks to target military personnel and communications during active conflict, according to Christian Sorensen, CEO of cybersecurity firm SightGain, the report added. It would be similar to Russia’s previous strategies where it primarily instilled “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” while its troops attacked the country.
Is Ukraine prepared?
Ukraine is also preparing for any possible cyber attacks by improving its cybersecurity defences, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The government is hosting hackathons organised by the European Union and NATO to better prepare against any such hack or breach.
A global cyberwar
It’s not just Ukraine that is on Russia’s target list as there have been warnings about possible cyberattacks against other countries too. The US in particular has issued warnings of Russia possibly launching cyber attacks such as DDOS (denials-of-service) and even something more destructive.

Banks in Europe and the US have also been warned against possible cyber attacks by Russia amid the ongoing tensions with Ukraine, according to a report by Ukraine.

These are only warnings but they also suggest a very high possibility that such cyber attacks could take place. The consequences would be big if government departments are involved and finding the vulnerabilities and fixing them would also take time.

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