The report illustrates the global scale and reach of Russia’s cyber campaign in an attempt to deter Ukraine’s allies from providing aid or disrupting their operations. The volume of hacking attempts is also significantly higher than previously reported.
“Destructive cyberattacks have been underreported because, in a way, they’re invisible to the naked eye, you only know they’re happening when they’re successful,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said. during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. “But what we see from our vantage point at the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center and the literally 24 trillion signals per day is that this is a formidable, intensive, even ferocious set of attacks.”
The United States was the main target, but Russian hackers also directed attacks against Polish groups helping to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as organizations in the Baltic countries and Turkey. .
Ukraine has also been widely targeted. Microsoft found evidence that the Russian military carried out cyberattacks against 48 Ukrainian government agencies and other organizations, although Ukraine successfully repelled most of these attacks. These include coordinated cyberattacks with missile strikes on railways and other transportation systems, and an attempt to break into the network of the nuclear energy company in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, in early March. , the day before it was occupied by Russian troops.
Ukraine suffered a slew of cyberattacks on the eve of the Russian invasion and during the fighting. Just before the Russian invasion, Ukrainian banking and government sites were temporarily offline by hackers who overwhelmed networks with traffic in so-called distributed denial of service attacks.
Last month, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union officially blamed Russia for a cyberattack in February that killed a major Ukrainian satellite provider, and Ukrainian officials said in April that the country had repelled a Russian cyberattack on its energy sector it would have cut power to millions of Ukrainians. And in May, Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of trying to cause a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the country by launching cyberattacks against humanitarian operations.
Russian influence operations have also come to the fore during the ongoing conflict. Microsoft reported that Russian disinformation operations focused on the domestic public to help maintain support for the war, the Ukrainian population to undermine morale, and American and European countries to undermine unity.
The misinformation also targets what Microsoft has described as “non-aligned countries,” including trying to blame Western countries for global food shortages resulting from the invasion of Ukraine.
These findings match what Ukrainian officials are seeing. A delegation of Ukrainian MPs told POLITICO earlier this week that Russia was behind efforts to create narratives on social media platforms in Asian and African countries accusing Ukraine of withholding grain from countries Africans.
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Post expires at 3:38am on Sunday July 3rd, 2022