The tensions between Russia and Ukraine are assuming new proportions, with the risk of catastrophic cyberattacks looming large. Already warnings have been issued by US agencies like FBI and CISA about potential malware that can affect US firms as well. And now in response to the cybersecurity threats, Ukraine is all set to launch an “IT Army” to respond to the digital intrusions of Russia. This was announced on Saturday by Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov. As the situation continues to worsen with Russia refusing to back down, Ukraine is strengthening its defense against attacks that can have catastrophic results.
The What and Why
In an age and time when technology is at its zenith, the threat becomes larger. The advancement in technology means an increased threat of cyberattacks which have a highly adverse effect on crucial data and the functioning of organizations. This explains why is launching an “IT Army” as a shield against Russian digital intrusions and to respond in par to any cybersecurity violations. As per an exclusive report by Reuters last week, the hacker underground has been called by Ukraine to ensure the protection of its critical infrastructure and also to carry out spying missions against Russian troops.
Fedorov’s Tweet said, “We are creating an IT Army.” This tweet was linked to a channel in the Telegram messaging app where a list of prominent Russian websites has been published. Fedorov has made it clear that Ukraine’s fight on the cyber front continues to be strong.
“There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.”
Websites of over 30 prominent Russian businesses and state organizations were listed on the Telegram channel. This included energy giant Gazprom, Lukoil which is Russia’s second-largest oil producer, in addition to three banks and a couple of government websites. This indicates that the stakes are high on both sides.
According to the researchers at ESET, the cybersecurity firm, the presence of malicious software with the ability to completely wipe data was found on hundreds of computers in Ukraine, most of them belonging to the Government and financial organizations. Quite naturally, the eye of suspicion fell on Russia since it has been repeatedly accused of hacks not just against Ukraine but against other countries as well. The war is gaining momentum and the stakes are high on either side, and only time can tell the end result of this catastrophe.