Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine more than four months ago, 796 cyber attacks have been carried out. Although the intensity of the attacks does not decrease, the quality does. Hackers target government bodies, financial institutions and energy suppliers.
The State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP), Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency, said in a statement.
Cyber security agency: ‘Quality of cyber attacks is decreasing’
Public services and local authorities are the main targets of Russian state hackers. Since February 24 – the day the first Russian tanks invaded Ukraine – 179 cyber attacks have been carried out in the public sector. The security and defence apparatus is in second place with 104 digital attacks.
The financial world is in third place with 55 cyber attacks. Commercial organizations and energy suppliers share fourth place with 54 attacks each. The remaining 350 attacks were carried out on other sectors and service providers. This includes the transport sector and telecom industry.
“The intensity of cyber-attacks has not diminished since the beginning of the large-scale military invasion of Russia, although their quality has declined,” the cybersecurity agency said.
Microsoft counts hundreds of digital attacks on Ukrainian targets
It should be clear: the war in Ukraine is raging not only on the ground and in the air, but also in cyberspace. At the end of April – two months after the war broke out – Microsoft counted a total of 237 cyber attacks in the Eastern European country. At the same time, Microsoft acknowledged that this was probably just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the US hardware and software company, Russian hackers with ties to the Kremlin were responsible for the lion’s share of the attacks. The main purpose of the digital attacks was to shut down government services and Ukraine’s vital infrastructure. The perpetrators also ran campaigns to loot confidential information and spread disinformation.
Finally, Microsoft saw “limited espionage activity” by Russian hackers.
NATO countries increasingly targeted by Russian cyberattacks
Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) counted numerous spam and phishing campaigns during this period. According to security researchers, Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean hackers are active in Ukraine. They use the war in Ukraine to incite their victims to open emails with rogue URLs.
Brad Smith, president and vice president of Microsoft, recently said that Russian state hackers have recently set their sights on NATO countries. Since last February, he says 128 organizations in 42 countries have been attacked. The US is the main target of hackers, but Poland has also often been hit by digital attacks, probably because humanitarian and military aid is coordinated from that country to Ukraine.
Smith said “significant progress” has been made and government bodies, businesses and organizations have stepped up their cybersecurity. “But the implementation of these advances has been less implemented in European governments than in the United States. As a result, significant collective defensive weaknesses remain.”
EU and Russia accuse each other of carrying out cyber-attacks
In mid-May, Brussels accused Russia of carrying out “malicious cyber activities” against Ukraine. The attack on satellite network KA-SAT caused a lot of damage in Europe. This attack not only affected Ukraine but also impacted the several EU Member States. “The European Union, in close cooperation with its partners, is considering further steps to prevent, deter, deter and address such malicious behaviour in cyberspace,” the European Council warned.
In turn, President Putin said he would step up Russia’s cyber defences. He accuses the West of carrying out “perfectly coordinated” cyber attacks on Russian targets. “Already we can say that the cyber-aggression against us, as well as the general sanctions attack on Russia, has failed,” the president said in a speech to the Russian Security Council.
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