Earlier this week and continuing presently the Russians are mounting cyberattacks on Ukraine. They have enlisted Chinese Communist aid in this effort. The attack targets government, banking, and defense sectors.
Ukrainian security forces and American intelligence are asking themselves this question: Are these attacks the beginning shots of a war or are they psychological operations designed to intimidate and thus achieve Russian goals short of war?
A growing consensus of intelligence veterans think it’s the latter. One US Army intelligence veteran who served at high levels of the national security system said, “This is a game and we’re being hoodwinked. Biden and the Europeans will give Putin what he wants without one shot being fired.”
NEWS: "We believe that the Russian government is responsible for widespread cyberattacks on Ukrainian banks this week," says Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber Anne Neuberger, citing technical information linking Russia's GRU to the attacks
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) February 18, 2022
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FNC: “Ukrainian officials investigating this week’s cyberattacks that brought down websites belonging to its Ministry of Defense, army and popular banks are now calling the incident the ‘largest’ of its kind in the history of the country – and suspect Russia is the culprit.
The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks come as U.S. and NATO continue to cast doubt on Russian claims that some of its 150,000 troops amassed along its border with Ukraine are heading back to their permanent bases. The cyberattacks targeted at least 10 Ukrainian websites and customers at the state-owned Privatbank and Sberbank reported issues with online payments and the banks’ apps, according to the Associated Press.”
“Russia has engaged in cyberattacks and electronic warfare in terms of a precursor to physical and kinetic activity,” Frank Cilluffo, the director of the McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security at Auburn University, told press, referring to past cyberattacks in Georgia and Ukraine’s Crimea region.
“A DDoS attack can be pretty effective if utilized in support of other means. It’s not about the attack itself, but if you are able to disrupt communications of some sort, and then you have ulterior motives, then clearly it can be effective,” he added. “And Russia did do this to Estonia in the past, massive DDoS attacks on the banking sector and the Estonian government.”
“…The largest DDoS attack in the history of Ukraine was carried out on government websites, on the banking sector,” said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
“This attack is unprecedented, it was prepared in advance,” he continued, saying that the attacks involved IP addresses from Russia, China, Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic. “And the key goal of this attack is destabilization, it is to sow panic, to do everything so that a certain chaos appears in our country.”
llya Vityuk, who heads cybersecurity for Ukraine’s state security service said that “the only country that is interested in such… attacks on our state, especially against the backdrop of massive panic about a possible military invasion, the only country that is interested is the Russian Federation.”