February 24, 2022, Russia began its large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, one of its neighboring countries. Many international organizations, like Apple and Volkswagen, have taken a stance by applying sanctions against Russia in hopes of encouraging Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, to stop its invasion without starting a world war. A group called “Anonymous” has declared a cyber war against Russia’s President and the Russian government as a part of its initiative to protest against the invasion. Originated in 2003, Anonymous is a decentralized affinity group made up of international activists and hacktivists who are known for their various cyberattacks against several governments, government institutions, government agencies, and corporate entities. Their goal is to seek mass awareness and revolution against the entities they believe to be corrupt.
Shortly before the invasion took place, it is believed that Russia carried out its own cyber war against Ukraine when the country reported a denial of service (DoS) attack that shut down its governmental websites and that hundreds of computers were infected with data-wiping software. In addition, Ukraine's Computer Emergency Response Team stated that the hackers used password-stealing emails to break into the email accounts of Ukrainian soldiers and used the compromised address books to send further malicious messages.
Over the past few days, Anonymous has claimed they have been responsible for taking down state-controlled Russian television network websites, hacking into a Russian Center for the Protection of Monuments website, shutting down Russia’s space agency, breaching the database belonging to the Russian Ministry of Defense, and leaking the invasion’s mission files.
Cyber warfare is the use of multiple virtual cyberattacks against another party over a period of time causing comparable harm to the party’s warfare and vital computing systems and components. The goal of a cyber warfare is to create a hostile nation, whereas a single cyberattack has the goal of inflicting reputational damage or gaining access to valuable data. As seen through the actions of the cyber war attacks against Ukraine and Russia, the most common methods include computer viruses and DoS attacks; however, other types of attacks include man-in-the-middle, phishing, structure query language injections, URL interpretation, domain name system spoofing, session hijacking, brute force, insider threat, trojan horses, cross-site scripting, and more.
Not only do cyberattacks occur in high-risk situations that can lead to warfare, but they happen multiple times a day to all types of organizations around the world. Cybersecurity is a vital concept to understand to ensure your business is protected at all costs. Contact us today to learn more about how FoxPointe Solutions can help your business navigate the intricate and fluctuating world of cybersecurity and information risk management.