The Ukrainian government has claimed of fighting a “hybrid war” in which Russia-backed threat actors attack their internet networks while their armies attack physical infrastructure on the ground.
According to the BBC, the country’s cyber-security authority stated that its cyber defences repel most hacking attacks and that the cyber-war with Russia is unprecedented.
“These two wars (we are fighting) are part of this hybrid war. This is happening for the first time in history and I believe that cyber war can only be ended with the end of conventional war, and we will do everything we can to bring this moment closer,” said Viktor Zhora, Deputy Chairman of the State Service of Special Communications, during a press conference.
He went on to say that his cyber security teams had been successful in defending critical Ukrainian web services.
“We are not afraid of Russian attacks” on power grids or nuclear sites, he said.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the country has launched a “IT army of Ukraine,” which has carried out cyber attacks on Russian targets.
The organization’s Telegram group now has 2,70,000 members. However, the Ministry estimates that there could be up to 400,000 hackers fighting for Ukraine online.
“We call it cyber-resistance and we’re doing everything possible to protect our land and cyberspace. We are trying to protect our networks and make the aggressor feel uncomfortable with its actions in cyberspace and on Ukrainian land,” Zhora added.
The cyber war between Russia and Ukraine has escalated, with Russia employing new destructive malware to permanently destroy data on Ukrainian organisations’ systems.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in an increase in global hacking activity.
While Russia-backed hackers have already targeted several Ukrainian government websites and banks, a leading hacking group, Anonymous, has declared its support for “Western allies,” with operations in Russia as a priority.
“The Anonymous collective is officially in cyber war against the Russian government,” the hacking group tweeted.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its 12th day, citizens have turned to encrypted communication apps, offline maps, and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and connect with friends and family.
Since Russia has restricted access to news and social media, the demand for VPN apps has increased.