Russia has been attacking Ukraine and since the beginning of the operation, cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects. Russian hackers first, attacked the Ukrainian government and business websites. Of course, it is not possible to say the Russian government is behind these attacks but it is clear that the attack waves were coming from Russian IP addresses.
The importance of cyberwarfare
The security specialists also confirm that the Russian army was using cyber-warfare skills to cut off the communication of the Ukrainian command center within three hours. In that case, it is clear that the Russian army is in a hybrid warfare state. Many countries already accepted the importance of cyberspace as a new espionage field. In today’s modern world, cyber espionage and information warfare have become a new discipline for international political science. It is clear that this new type of espionage is faster, cheaper, and more secure.
However, governments don’t publicly claim responsibility for their cyber-espionage activities. The information technology law of each country may differ but cyber attacks and cyber espionage are clear violations of international law. In some cases, it can even be considered as a cause of war. On the other hand, Ukraine president Zelenskiy and other spokesperson/authors of the Ukraine government were clearly asking for help from the western countries to harden their cyber-infrastructure.
In the recent news, most of the sources declare that there is evidence that Russia is definitely attacking the Ukraine e-government services as well as the communication systems. Most of the governments push the button to commence cyber-attacks towards a hostile government by using hacking groups with nationalist motivations. These hacking groups may be led by the secret service of the government or may act individually.
Hacking groups are on the scene
Since January, Ukraine has been struggling with huge amounts of cyberattacks. First, a Belarusian hacking group launched a series of malware attacks against Ukrainian computers running government services, of which some resulted in defacement with provocative messages. In February, another series of cyberattacks, mainly DDoS attacks targeted the Ukrainian army website, ministerial websites, and some of the banks and online payment infrastructure.
The Russian army is still moving within the Ukrainian borders but the cyberattacks are also continuing increasingly. The US president and EU officials discussed the Ukrainian cyberspace defenses against Russian cyberattacks. We witness a new hybrid war between Russia and Ukraine. Both countries are trying to attack and defend their cyberspace and also using the internet as an information gathering and propaganda field.
Not only Ukraine but also Latvia has expressed concerns about the risks and impacts of cyberattacks. US and major EU countries are now working on better technologies and taking more protective measures. With the COVID-19 pandemic, switching to the cloud and living in a hybrid world has accelerated, which means now cyber warfare is now more widespread and creates stronger impacts on the target systems.
In conclusion, the latest incidents show us it is not an option to leave the conventional war still. But we are talking about a hybrid war, which certainly includes cyber warfare. It is also obvious that in a crisis, corporate resilience and business continuity are essential for both the business world and governments.