Russian military's warfare on Ukraine involves the country's cyber attacks against Ukrainian government websites and affiliated organizations through various malware including but not limited to activating a data-wiping malware dubbed HermeticWiper which was activated just a day before the attacks.
The DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which were under preparation for almost three months, began last week and temporarily rendered government websites offline. DDoS attacks barrage websites with junk traffic so they become unreachable.
Russian cyber attacks went on to infect hundreds of computers in Lithuania and Latvia.
Ukraine’s cybersecurity service also warned citizens of known “active disinformation” channels to avoid by publishing a list on its Telegram channel.
The U.S.-based Symantec Threat Intelligence said that it was still not clear how many networks were affected in the recent data-wiping malware attack in a blog post.
Cyber security company ESET Research Labs said the malware was detected on “hundreds of machines in the country” in a tweet.
The Western governments blame Russia for some of the most damaging cyber attacks including the2015 and 2016 cyber attacks on Ukraine’s power grid and the NotPetya “wiper” virus in 2017, which caused more than $10 billion of damage globally by infecting companies that do business in Ukraine. The malware was distributed using a software update for tax preparation.
The U.S. to carry out massive cyberattacks to disrupt Russia’s military
Designed to disrupt Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden has been presented with a menu of options for the U.S. to carry out massive cyberattacks, according to NBC News' sources.
Two U.S. intelligence officials told that no final decisions have been made but they claim that U.S. intelligence and military cyber warriors are proposing the use of American cyberweapons on an unprecedented scale. Disrupting internet connectivity across Russia, shutting down the country’s electricity, and making it hard for Russia to resupply its military forces tampering with railroad switches were among the options.
The sources added that said attacks were only to be put in action if Russia launches cyber-attacks on the U.S. as retaliation for the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.
Ukrainian government seeks help from hackers against Russia
The Ukrainian government asks its hackers to help protect the country’s critical infrastructure and carry out cyber spying missions against Russian troops, the Guardian announced.
Thursday morning a post appear on Ukrainian hacker forums looking for volunteers. The message read, “Ukrainian cybercommunity! It’s time to get involved in the cyber defense of our country”.
The country is asking its hackers and cybersecurity experts to submit an application via Google docs, listing their specialties, such as malware development, and professional references.
Hacker group Anonymous declares 'cyber war' on Russia
Anonymous, the world’s most effective hacker collective has declared cyber-war against the Russian government in a tweet.
Anonymous’s first action has been disabling Russian state news outlet RT.
Many major Russian websites were also attacked, including interior and defense ministry websites and major Russian banks Sberbank and Alfabank, however, said websites were back online during the day.
The sites of Russia’s military (mil.ru) and Kremlin (kremlin.ru), hosted by the Russia State Internet Network, were unreachable or worked slowly as a result of the cyber-attacks.