25.2 C
Saturday, June 10, 2023


Russia preparing for a new cyber conflict with Ukraine

Related stories

A new supernova has appeared in the night sky

A gleaming new supernova has erupted in the night...

Friends who escaped Russian occupation in dam floods

Kardashynka, Maryna and Valentyna's southern Ukrainian hamlet, is a...

Children found alive in Amazon after 40 days

Four youngsters have been recovered alive after surviving an...

Trump took nuclear secrets and kept files in shower – Charges say

Former President Donald Trump has been accused with manipulating...

Man accused of extortion in a US courtroom has pleaded not guilty

Joran van der Sloot, the person accused of extorting...

More than 21 teens injured in beach boardwalk collapse

A beach boardwalk collapse has injured at least 21...

Lady who killed her black neighbour calls her child a slave

In regards to court documents, the lady accused of...

I am innocent in the classified documents probe – Trump

Donald Trump, a former president, announced that he has...
- Advertisement -

A Microsoft research analysis suggests that Russian hackers are preparing a fresh round of cyberattacks against Ukraine.

The tech giant’s cyber security research and analysis team revealed a number of findings on Wednesday on the methods used by Russian hackers during the crisis in Ukraine and potential next steps.

- Advertisement -

“From January 2023, Microsoft has witnessed Russian cyber threat activity shifting to strengthen damaging and intelligence collecting capacity on Ukraine and its partners’ civilian and military assets,” the paper stated.

One group ‘appears to be preparing for a renewed destructive campaign’.

- Advertisement -

Microsoft found that a particularly sophisticated Russian hacking team, known as Sandworm, was testing ‘additional ransomware-style capabilities that could be used in destructive attacks on organizations outside Ukraine that serve key functions in Ukraine’s supply lines’.

epa10520615 Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov (R), during their meeting in the Moscow Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 13 March 2023. Kadyrov briefed Putin on the socio-economic achievements of Chechnya in 2022. EPA/MIKHAEL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT
Russian hackers appear to be preparing a renewed wave of cyber attacks against Ukraine, according to a research report by Microsoft (Picture: EPA)

A ransomware attack typically involves hackers penetrating an organization, encrypting their data and extorting them for payment to regain access.

- Advertisement -

Historically, ransomware has also been used as cover for more malicious cyber activity, including so-called wipers that simply destroy data.

Since January 2022, Microsoft said it had discovered at least nine different wipers and two types of ransomware variants used against more than 100 Ukrainian organizations.

‘In 2023, Russia has stepped up its espionage attacks, targeting organizations in at least 17 European nations, mostly government agencies. Wiper attacks continue in Ukraine.’ said Clint Watts, general manager for Microsoft’s Digital Threat Analysis Center.

These developments have been paired with a growth in more stealthy Russian cyber operations designed to directly compromise organizations in countries allied to Ukraine, according to the report.

Ukrainian servicemen sit on a BMP military vehicle as they move towards Bakhmut in the region of Donbas, on March 13, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Since January 2023, Microsoft has observed Russian cyber threat activity adjusting to boost destructive and intelligence gathering capacity on Ukraine (Picture: AFP)

As of late November 2022, Microsoft and other security firms identified a new form of ransomware, called ‘Sullivan’, deployed against Ukrainian targets, in addition to the ‘Prestige’ ransomware Russia deployed in Ukraine and Poland in October 2022.

‘Our analysis suggests that Russia will continue to conduct espionage attacks against Ukraine and Ukraine’s partners, and destructive attacks within and potentially outside Ukraine as was done with Prestige,’ said Watts.

Moscow has also taken to spreading propaganda aimed at Ukrainian refugees across Europe, trying to convince them that they could be deported and conscripted into the Ukrainian military.

Russian media promoted protests supported by a pro-Russia political party encouraging citizens to demand the government pay for winter energy bills.

TOPSHOT - A Ukrainian serviceman prepares a 105 shell to fire at Russian possitions near Bakhmut, on March 14, 2023. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Since January 2022, Microsoft had discovered two types of ransomware variants used against more than 100 Ukrainian organizations (Picture: AFP)

Another Russia-aligned campaign called ‘Moldova Leaks’ published alleged leaks from Moldovan politicians, just one of many of hack-and-leak operations aimed at sowing distrust between European citizens and their governments.

The findings come as Russia has been introducing new troops to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, according to Western security officials.

Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov last month warned that Russia could accelerate its military activities surrounding the February 24 anniversary of its invasion.

The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories