Is Russia about to launch major cyberattacks on Ukraine?

Is Russia about to launch major cyberattacks on Ukraine?
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Over the years, Russia hasn’t been a stranger to targeting Ukraine’s digital systems. In 2015 and 2016, it targeted Ukraine’s energy systems after the annexation of Crimea. In 2017, Russia was also responsible for the NotPetya attacks on Ukraine that caused a shutdown of Chernobyl’s radiation monitoring system alongside major banks, airports, railways and other important national IT systems.

Throughout the war, Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar, which serves almost 26 million people, has been fighting a flood of Russian cyberattacks as well as dealing with complications caused by the war, like the physical destruction of phone towers and lines. Ukraine’s State Special Communications Service estimates that there have been at least 1,600 major incidents since the beginning of this year.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence now expects Russia to target the energy sector again with more cyberattacks. It expects these to include both digital attacks against systems and the destruction of infrastructure.

Key comments:

“Ukraine doesn’t perform any offensive operations and does not coordinate the IT Army, but considering the level of destruction, the level of evil that Russia’s doing in Ukraine, we are grateful to all people that contribute to the weakening of our enemy," Victor Zhora, the deputy chair of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection, said in an interview.

“First of all, attacks will be aimed at enterprises of the energy sector," the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine said.

“For the first time, we’ve also seen coordination between cyberattacks and kinetic, military assaults," said a report issued earlier this month by the US-based cybersecurity firm Check Point Software.