Ukraine has set up a so-called IT army. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov on Twitter on Saturday. People can join the digital army through a Telegram channel. At the time of writing, the channel has over 220,000 subscribers.
DDoS attacks on Russia
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov posted on Twitter: “We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational duties are given here: https://t.me/itarmyofurraine. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task on the channel is for the cyber specialists.”
The Telegram Channel “IT ARMY of Ukraine” shares lists of websites important to Russia. This includes websites of companies, banks, and the Russian state. The list includes the websites of, for example, Gazprom, Yandex, Gazprombank, the Kremlin, the Ministry of Defense, and media watchdog Roskomnadzor. The Telegram channel calls for cyber and DDoS attacks on the targets.
The IT ARMY of Ukraine asks for help in finding possible targets via the Telegram channel. The search is mainly for oligarchs, but the military is also calling for Instagram accounts and phone numbers of close relatives of oligarchs, celebrities and opinion leaders to be shared.
The IT military is out to do as much damage as possible. For example, the channel follows recent developments and responds to them. As many Russians convert their crypto into euros and rubles, major money exchange offices have been shut down. The IT army also sees that Russian citizens collect money en masse from ATMs. That’s why it calls for attacking the DNS savings bank, which could cause the military “enormous damage”.
The Telegram channel contains messages in Ukrainian, which have also been translated into English “for all IT specialists from other countries”.
Fake news channels also targeted
In addition to important Russian websites, IT ARMY of Ukraine also mentions YouTube channels. The intention is to shut down YouTube news channels that openly spread falsehoods about the war in Ukraine. Again a list of links has been posted. The IT army adds a step-by-step plan with instructions to report the channels. Part of the step-by-step plan is enabling a VPN, as most channels are not available in Ukraine.
The IT army also calls through the Telegram channel for a “huge information company in Belarus about real events in our country”. Belarusian citizens do not know what is actually happening in Ukraine, according to the IT army.
Kremlin website previously offline
On the Telegram channel, the IT army of Ukraine shares its successes. Among other things, the website of the Sberbank has been brought down, as well as the website of the Belarusian information policy.
The Kremlin’s official website was down on Saturday afternoon. This was presumably the work of the hacker group Anonymous, which previously announced cyber attacks on the Russian government.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) reports that it “has no concrete indications so far” that “digital attacks in relation to the war in Ukraine are currently impacting the Netherlands”. However, the NCSC does not rule out “possible consequences and attacks in the Netherlands in the future”.
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