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russian hackers committed 237 cyber attacks on Ukraine before the start of the invasion – Microsoft

28.04.2022, 11:22
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In recent months – namely, just before russia's invasion of Ukraine, – at least six hacker groups linked to russia have committed 237 cyberattacks against Ukrainian companies and government departments.

This is stated in a report by Microsoft, Ukrinform says.

The Microsoft report describes in detail and in chronological order the cyberattacks observed by Microsoft researchers. The report notes that preparations for cyberattacks against Ukraine began a year before russia's full-scale invasion, in March 2021.

Some attacks were also accompanied by extensive espionage and reconnaissance activities. Virtual attacks not only tried to degrade the systems of Ukrainian institutions, but also disrupted people's access to reliable information and critical services and tried to undermine public confidence in the country's leadership.

Experts emphasize that russia's use of cyberattacks "seems to be strongly correlated, and sometimes directly timed," with military operations targeting Ukrainian services and institutions.

"The destructive attacks we’ve observed – numbering close to 40, targeting hundreds of systems – have been especially concerning: 32% of destructive attacks directly targeted Ukrainian government organizations at the national, regional and city levels. More than 40% of destructive attacks were aimed at organizations in critical infrastructure sectors that could have negative second-order effects on the Ukrainian government, military, economy and civilians," the report said.

It is noted that Microsoft security teams worked closely with Ukrainian government officials and cybersecurity workers in government and private enterprises to identify and address threats to Ukrainian networks.

Microsoft believes that cyberattacks will continue. "Russian nation-state threat actors may be tasked to expand their destructive actions outside of Ukraine to retaliate against those countries that decide to provide more military assistance to Ukraine and take more punitive measures against the Russian government in response to the continued aggression," the report said.

As IMI reported, on April 2, the SSU said that the largest number of russian cyberattacks on the resources of state authorities and the military administration of Ukraine occurred on the night of the full-scale invasion by russia. The enemy wanted to destroy all of Ukraine's cyber defense. Thus, on the night of the invasion, cyber specialists detected and neutralized more than 120 powerful cyber attacks on state resources.

On April 7, Microsoft said it had thwarted attempts by russian military intelligence hackers to infiltrate Ukrainian, European, and American sites.

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