This was only the start of something bigger. The Ukraine authorities launched a call to establish an “IT army”. According to Sandra Ro, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), “Ukraine’s 31-year-old Minister for Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, has recruited 300,000 people in an IT army to support Ukraine.”
Indeed, thousands of Ukrainian and international hackers, including Russian, with the hacktivist mentioned above group Anonymous, joined forces to expose Russian cyber tools, infrastructure, banks, etc…
Since the beginning of this conflict, this “IT Army” has:
• hacked the Russian state TV,
• infiltrated and leaked data from Yandex, a multinational corporation primarily for Russian and Russian-language users, providing 70 Internet-related products and services, including transportation, search and information services, e-commerce, navigation, mobile applications, and online advertising;
• hacked Sberbank, the Russian majority state-owned Bank,
• And many other leading Russian companies.
Three weeks after the start of the conflict, Ukraine is also facing online attacks from Russia, even if Moscow has consistently denied engaging in cyberwarfare or assisting cyber attacks. As a reminder, in mid-January, the European Union supported Kyiv’s cybersecurity services as they were facing an attack against Ukrainian government websites, allegedly attributed to Russia
The joint counterattack from Ukraine and the West has shown Russian cyber security’s lack of preparation. The effective balance of cyber power and the deployment scale gives the West an edge so far. Crushed under the sanctions and cornered by military failure in Ukraine, Moscow seems to have its back against the wall.
Would the next move of Vladimir Putin be activating and engaging in massive cyber warfare?