US and UK send cyber war experts to Ukraine
The United States and Britain have sent cyberwarfare experts to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russia. This is in response to Russia’s latest cyber-attacks on Ukraine’s electricity systems and banks. That reports The New York Times.
US spokesmen declined to describe the cyber teams the country sent to Ukraine. They just wanted to say that they “have long supported Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its cyber defences and increase its cyber resilience.” The British government also only wanted to say that the aid it provides is only defensive.
Although both governments do not provide details about the defensive support, the US government did express the consideration of sending a larger team. Members of the US Cyber Command would also be sent along. However, the additional benefit of this was not recognized.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine
The US and UK are sending their cyber teams to help Ukraine defend what they believe will be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next move. This will not be an invasion of 175,000 troops, who are already bivouacking at the border.
Russia’s goal is to make Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelensky appear inept and powerless, the Americans said. This gives Putin an excuse to launch a real invasion. Not by active war, but by replacing Zelensky with a Russian leader.
In this case, there is no need for Putin to annex the country. In this way, he escapes the sanctions normally associated with such a physical invasion.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict
The conflict between the two countries has been brewing since 2014 when the Russian military infiltrated Ukrainian territory. Russia then annexed Crimea. A ceasefire was established in 2015, but this did not stop cybercrime.
As early as 2015, Russian hackers took control of the Ukrainian electricity grid. The following year they did this again in the capital Kiev. Since then, the cyber campaign against Ukraine has never stopped.
Western countries, however, focused on the military forces moving to the border of Ukraine. When Ukraine attacked with a drone in October this year, the conflict restarted. After all, Russia considered this a violation of the armistice.
Russia does not attack back but uses hackers. That way it can continue to operate and plead innocence. After all, the Russians blame hacker collectives, not the state. “It is almost certainly state activity disguised as criminal activity,” said Jim Richberg, the former US National Intelligence manager.
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