Not just tanks and missiles: this is how Russia manages to paralyze countries at the push of a button

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, and the days preceding it, was accompanied by a number of cyber attacks that hit various destinations across the country. This again flooded the issue of Russia’s cyber power, given the fact that it has been accused by many Western elements of carrying out a number of such attacks around the world.

In the hours after the attack, it was reported that Ukraine was experiencing “incessant” cyber attacks, and this announcement was preceded by statements from a number of countries dealing with the Russian cyber issue. Also yesterday afternoon, and also last week, a number of government ministries in Ukraine, as well as central banks in the country, experienced a DDos (denial of service) cyber attack. In addition, a number of similar incidents have also been recorded in recent months.

As mentioned, the recent events constitute only one chapter of the war between Moscow and Kiev that has been going on in cyberspace for several years. The most significant incident occurred in the summer of 2017, when Ukraine was hit by a ransomware attack carried out with the help of not petaya virus. This has led to a paralysis of infrastructure in the country, and also to damage to the banking systems and the airport in Kiev. The attack spread beyond Ukraine and hit several other countries, including Israel (although the reports were denied by all elements in the country). The not petaya attack has been defined as the most expensive cyber attack in world history.

As expected, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov then denied British and American allegations that Russia was behind the attack, during which billions of billions of dollars in economic damage were recorded in several countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Peskov claimed that “the accusations are part of a Russia phobia campaign” held in several Western countries.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (Photo: REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina)

Ukraine is not the only country that has discovered the impressive capabilities of hackers from Russia. The best-known case that has occurred in recent years has been dubbed the “Russia-Gate affair” – Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election – when Russia actually hurt Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, strengthened Donald Trump’s campaign and in one way or another led to his victory. The intelligence community in the United States has reported that the operation in question, dubbed Project Lakhta, was commissioned directly by President Putin.

As part of the operation in question, the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), which some define as a “troll farm,” has created thousands of accounts on various social networks that have impersonated Americans who support extremist political groups. These fake users, planned or promoted events in support of Trump and against Clinton, and shared fabricated articles on networks while disseminating dis information from sources controlled by the Russian government.

In addition, hackers affiliated with the Russian Intelligence Service (GRU) infiltrated the computers of the National Democratic Committee and the email of a senior official in the Clinton campaign – and leaked these documents to WikiLeaks. Putin administration officials have denied any involvement in any of the incidents.

Hillary Clinton (Photo: Reuters)Hillary Clinton (Photo: Reuters)

Another country that has experienced the cyber capabilities of the Russian military, and more than once, is France. Earlier this week, French cyber headquarters announced that a break-in had been discovered in several organizations, whose characteristics were similar to other attacks carried out by a group affiliated with Russian intelligence. The headquarters noted that the hackers took advantage of existing vulnerabilities in the monitoring software, which among its customers is a gas and oil giant in the country, along with the Ministry of Justice and a number of municipalities, including Bordeaux. The company claimed that its customers were not harmed. As expected, Russia has denied involvement in the incident.

Two more cases occurred in 2015 and 2017. In the first case, the French TV network TV5Monde experienced an attack using malware, which infested all of the network’s systems and took down all of its channels from the air. Initially, a group called “Cyber ​​Suits” claimed to be the cause of the incident, but an in-depth investigation by French authorities led to a discovery that this attack was linked to the APT28 hacker group – affiliated with Russian intelligence, also known as Fancy Bear.

The second case occurred in May 2017, when Emanuel Macron’s election staff experienced a cyber attack on the eve of the French presidential election. After the attack, more than 20,000 emails were leaked to an anonymous file-sharing site. Word of this spread quickly around the internet, after it was quickly spread by bots and spam accounts. The American cyber company Flashpoint stated in a “moderate level of security” that Fancy bear is also behind this attack.

Emanuel Macron (Photo: Reuters)Emanuel Macron (Photo: Reuters)

Another cyber attack to which Russia’s name is linked occurred at the opening ceremony of the South Korean Winter Olympics in the winter of 2018. US intelligence sources then claimed that Russian military hackers were behind the cyber attack, when according to a report in the Washington Post, Russian hackers acted in such a way An illusion that North Korea is the one behind the attack. This is an operation that has apparently been dubbed the “wrong flag,” according to two senior government officials.

Sources related to the organization of the sporting event noted that a cyber attack had indeed taken place, but denied that there was Russian involvement in the event. According to estimates, the Russian operation was carried out following the decision to suspend the Russian athletes, following the publications that they use banned substances.

By Editor

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