February 2, 2023

Russian military strike causes “significant” damage at hospital in Ukraine’s Severodonetsk, video shows 

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Microsoft said Wednesday that at least six different hacking groups linked to the Kremlin have carried out about 240 cyber operations against Ukrainian targets, data showing a wide range of alleged Russian cyber attacks during the war against Ukraine. As previously documented.

“Russia’s use of cyber-attacks is strongly linked and sometimes directly linked to its dynamic military operations,” said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president.

Microsoft’s report is by far the most comprehensive public record of Russian hacking efforts related to the war in Ukraine. It fills a gap in public understanding of where Russia’s cyber capabilities were deployed during the war.

Burt referred to the March 1 cyber attack on a Ukrainian broadcaster, the same day Russian missile attacks on a TV tower in Kiev, and malicious emails sent to Ukrainians falsely claiming that the Ukrainian government was Russian. “Leaving them” during the siege. Mariupol City

Microsoft reports that suspected Russian hackers are “working to compromise with organizations in territories across Ukraine,” and that there may be reports of a Ukrainian military partnership in the months leading up to the full-scale offensive in February. I’m gathering intelligence.

Russia’s military strikes on Ukraine are sometimes “linked to cyber-attacks, especially when it involves attacks on telecom infrastructure in some areas,” Victor Zora, a senior Ukrainian government cyber official, said on Wednesday. Told reporters.

In the weeks following Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, some pundits and US officials were surprised that Russian cyberattacks on the country were not more significantly disruptive or debilitating. Possible explanations range from the chaos in Russian military planning to the tightening of Ukrainian defenses to the fact that bombs and bullets take precedence over hacking in times of war.

But a barrage of alleged Russian and Belarusian hacks aimed at destabilizing Ukraine, some hacks emerged weeks after their existence. Some hacking attempts have been more successful than others.

At the start of the war, a multi-pronged cyber attack shut down Internet service for tens of thousands of satellite modems in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe. CNN had earlier reported that US authorities were investigating the incident as a possible Russian state-sponsored hack.

More background: Earlier this month, a Russian military-linked hacking group targeted a Ukrainian power substation in a hack that, if successful, could cut off power to 2 million people, according to Ukrainian officials. But while the same hacking group managed to cut off power in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016, the recent cyber attack did not affect the power supply to Target Power Company, according to Zora.

NATO officials David Kettler and Daniel Blake noted a series of hacks that allegedly purged Russian data for Ukrainian organizations over the weeks.

“If observers see this cyber-attack as a series of isolated incidents, it would lose its scale and strategic significance in the traditional violence in Ukraine,” Cattler and Black wrote in Foreign Affairs this month. ۔ “But the full account of cyber operations shows the active and sustained use of cyber attacks to support Russian military objectives.”

Officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies have worked with their Ukrainian counterparts to defend against Russian hacking and gain insights into Russian capabilities that could be used against the United States. Are

“Unfortunately, for the past eight years, Ukraine has been a playground for cyber weapons,” Zora said. “And now we see that some of the technologies that were tested or some of the attacks that were carried out on Ukraine’s infrastructure are continuing in other states.”

Zhora stressed the flexibility of Ukraine’s network guards.

Zhora said Wednesday that Russian hackers were “becoming dangerous.” “They continue to threaten democracies, threaten Ukrainian cyberspace. Nevertheless, I do not think they can measure their cyber-fighters or use some of the brand new technologies that are at stake in Ukraine’s infrastructure.” Can attack. ”

CNN has asked the Russian embassy in Washington DC to comment on the Microsoft report.

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