Russia Escalates Spying On Ukraine’s Allies

Russian state-backed hackers have conducted network spying and espionage activities against 128 organisations in 42 countries allied to Ukraine since the start of the war, according to Microsoft in it’s new findings published Wednesday 22nd of June.

Defending Ukraine: Early Lessons from the Cyber War is the report conducted by Microsoft’s threat intelligence and data science teams with the goal of sharpening our understanding of the threat landscape in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Microsoft has seen the Russian military launch multiple waves of destructive cyber-attacks against 48 distinct Ukrainian agencies and enterprises,” Brad Smith, the President and Vice Chair of Microsoft, said. “These have sought to penetrate network domains by initially comprising hundreds of computers and then spreading malware designed to destroy the software and data on thousands of others... Since the start of the war, the Russian targeting (of Ukraine’s allies) has been successful 29 percent of the time.”  

NATO is currently a focused target for Russia' computer operatives, according to the Microsoft report. 

American organisations are high on the list for the Russian hacking attacksoutside of Ukraine, according to Microsoft, but these Russian hacks include 42 countries which might have potential war information such as governments, firms, think tanks and humanitarian organisations. 

Those hacking attempts have successfully penetrated defenses 29% of the time, according to Microsoft. Of those successful breaches, a quarter resulted in data stolen from networks.  But Microsoft said it didn't have a full view of the hacking because some customers stored data on their own systems rather than in Microsoft's cloud computing infrastructure.

US Cyber Command, the military's hacking unit, has conducted a "full spectrum" of offensive, defensive and information operations in support of Ukraine and China has employed and trained some highly effective hackers on targets related to the Ukraine war, according to cyber security researchers. Furthermore, Suspected Chinese hackers appeared to try to break into computers linked to officials in the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border, according to Secureworks

Ukrainian officials have also accused the Russians of routing Internet traffic in parts of Ukraine through Russian Internet providers and subjecting those connections to censorship. 

Background 

The recorded history of every war typically includes an account of the first shots fired and who witnessed them. Each account provides a glimpse not just into the start of a war, but the nature of the era in which people lived. Historians who discuss the first shots in America’s Civil War in 1861 typically describe guns, cannons, and sailing ships around a fort near Charleston, South Carolina.

Events spiraled toward the launch of World War I in 1914 when terrorists in plain view on a city street in Sarajevo used grenades and a pistol to assassinate the archduke of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. It would take until the Nuremberg war trials to fully understand what happened near the Polish border 25 years later. In 1939, Nazi SS troops dressed in Polish uniforms and staged an attack against a German radio station. Adolf Hitler cited such attacks to justify a blitzkrieg invasion that combined tanks, planes, and troops to overrun Polish cities and civilians.  Each of these incidents also provides an account of the technology of the time, technology that would play a role in the war that ensued and the lives of the people who lived through it. 

The war in Ukraine has a pattern and as the Russian army crossed the Ukrainian border on February 24th. However, the first shots were in fact fired a day earlier. They involved a cyber weapon called “Foxblade” that was launched against critical computer networks in Ukraine.

Reflecting the technology of our time, those among the first to observe the attack were half a world away, working in the United States.  This captures the importance of stepping back and taking stock of the first several months of the war in Ukraine, which has been devastating for the country in terms of destruction and loss of life, including innocent civilians.

Microsoft:       Secure Works:        Infosecurity Magazine:     CNN:      Reuters:     US News:     NBC

You Might Also Read: 

Estonia Fears Cyber Attacks Will Rise Because Of War In Ukraine:

« US Bank Loses Critical Data Of Over A Million Customers - Again
Cyber Security Tools For Your Small Business »

Quartz Conference
CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of completely automatic, fully encrypted online, cloud backup.

SecureAuth

SecureAuth

SecureAuth delivers cutting edge identity and information security solutions for cloud, mobile, web, and VPN systems.

Paessler

Paessler

Paessler is a leading worldwide provider of network monitoring software.

CYBER 1

CYBER 1

CYBER 1 provides cyber security solutions to customers wanting to be resilient against new and existing threats.

Fortress Group

Fortress Group

Fortress is specialized in confidential and discrete recruitment solutions and temporary staffing in the field of security and risk management.

Intensity Analytics

Intensity Analytics

Intensity Analytics is a software firm that develops next-generation, physical user and entity behavioral authentication ("physical UEBA") security software technology.

Securepoint

Securepoint

Securepoint is the market leader in the development of professional “Unified Threat Management” solutions in Germany.

Excellium Services

Excellium Services

Excellium’s Professional Services team combines expertise and experience that complements your in-house security resources.

ITU Arab Regional Cyber Security Center (ITU-ARCC)

ITU Arab Regional Cyber Security Center (ITU-ARCC)

ITU-ARCC acts as ITU’s cybersecurity hub in the Arab Region localizing and coordinating cybersecurity initiatives.

CHT Security

CHT Security

CHT Security is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) specialized in cyber security technologies enabling enterprises to defense against cyber threats to networks, gateways and endpoints.

SparkLabs Cyber + Blockchain

SparkLabs Cyber + Blockchain

SparkLabs Cyber + Blockchain accelerator is located in Washington D.C. which is one of the world's top cybersecurity ecosystems.

FAIR Institute

FAIR Institute

The FAIR Institute is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to advancing the discipline of measuring and managing information risk.

LibraSoft

LibraSoft

Librasoft creates solutions to protect information from external and internal threats.

Phy-Cy.X Security Group

Phy-Cy.X Security Group

Phy-Cy.X specialize in the “Physics” of Information Security through both physical and cyber domains. We are not an IT company, we ARE an Information Security company.

VIRTIS

VIRTIS

VIRTIS' mission is to provide today's leading organizations peace of mind that their entire digital network perimeter is safe from hackers and data breach.

IoTeX

IoTeX

Building the connected world. IoTeX is a fast, secure, and decentralized platform that connects real world devices/data to the blockchain.

Axellio

Axellio

Axellio provides economic, end-to-end cyber security solutions designed for your team, environment, and security objectives, providing packet level visibility across your network.