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Russia-Ukraine cyberwar: Russia ‘had enough’ of volunteer hackers

Mobilizing nearly 300,000 hackers, the massive Ukrainian military has repeatedly attacked Russian government agencies and web services.

Ukraine’s powerful volunteer army
After a spate of cyberattacks in Ukraine at the start of the war, the number of cyberattacks from Russia to Ukraine appeared to have dropped over the past two weeks, particularly against government and banking websites. comfortable. There is little information about Russia’s next serious cyberattack on Ukraine in the short term, but instead, Russia must continually respond to cyberattacks on its country. All of these attacks from around the world were carried out by recently recruited volunteers in Ukraine.

Nearly 300,000 volunteer hackers around the world have joined Ukraine’s IT army in a call to fight Russia. These hackers come from the UK, US, Switzerland, and even countries like Lithuania… Their common goal is to attack vital institutions in Russia in order to reduce the country’s economic potential and thus the country’s economic potential. Force them to stop their attacks on Ukraine.

According to NetBlocks, a company that monitors internet connections around the world, a group of hackers has successfully disrupted internet services in Russia. NetBlocks said the availability of the Kremlin and Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament) websites has been “on and off” since the Ukrainian attack began. The websites of Russia’s state-owned communications services company, several banks and energy giant Gazprom were also targeted.

Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks, said: “Attacks from the community have successfully compromised Russian government and state media sites.” While Russia has taken many steps to reduce and prevent hacking, the reality of the country’s website systems is a prolonged and ongoing outage.

Russia ‘had enough’ with cyberattacks

The cybersecurity arm of telecommunications company Rostelecom said on March 11 that it noticed an increase in activity on hacker forums between February 22 and 23, followed by large-scale attacks. . Against hackers. Russian government internet resources starting February 25. Attackers primarily target Russian government resources, with 1,700 DDoS attacks targeting Russian government portals in the past three days alone. Russian government. Russian government.

According to Sputnik, on March 17, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the ministry’s website was under denial of service (DDoS) attacks day and night. “The website (of the Russian Foreign Ministry), like that of other government agencies, is now under DDoS attack 24 hours a day for two to two weeks,” Zakharova said on Solovyov Live on YouTube.

Commercial attacks have also increased, with more than 1,100 attacks targeting Russian businesses, especially the banking sector, which is also subject to long-standing and harsh Western sanctions, data from the cybersecurity industry shows. March 1-10, more than the total amount​​​​​​. The case happened in February.

More than 450 cyberattacks against Russian banks were recorded, more than four times the total in February 2022.

Risks of using volunteers

All in all, thanks to the Ukrainian volunteers who won the cyber attack. However, according to some cybersecurity experts, they are concerned that this army of volunteers could pose risks.

Alan Woodward, a professor of cybersecurity at the University of Surrey, said he was concerned about the lack of accountability over who steered the overall strategic and operational plan.

He said that what the military did was mainly to disrupt and annoy the Russians, but it could be seen that these cyberattacks did not really affect Russia’s ground combat capabilities. past games.

Also, according to Alan Woodward, an army of 300,000 hackers will always have some bad seeds. In particular, these volunteers could start attacking targets that the Ukrainian government doesn’t really want. This may be accidental.

“How long will the ransomware last and how effective is it? I don’t think anyone wants that. You never know who’s in a group of volunteers. Not only can they do unwelcome things on behalf of Ukraine, but they can make rhetoric that directly affects Russia. things,” he said.

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