Hacktivists spark pandemonium amid Russia’s war in Ukraine

“We will continue to help Ukrainians in their fight against the Russian occupation forces,” the group said tweeted on Sunday. “The railways are under attack. … Manual control mode is enabled, which will slow down the movement of trains but will NOT create emergency situations. It will NOT endanger ordinary citizens!”

Cyber ​​Partisan spokesman Yuliana Shemetovets told WIRED that the group has grown in recent weeks. “Five new people, Belarusians, have joined the group since the beginning of the war,” she said. “There are more on the list to be verified.”

Meanwhile, ransomware groups Conti and CoomingProject declared their allegiance to Russia last week. Shortly afterwards, more than 60,000 internal messages from Conti were leaked, along with the message “Glory to Ukraine!” The treasure, believed to be leaked by Conti affiliates, reveals details about how the group is organized and how it works. On Wednesday, Conti seemed to be dismantling its infrastructureevidence of the impact hacktivism can have, regardless of whether such protests directly determine the course of the war.

On Thursday, Trustwave SpiderLabs security researchers also released findings that a pro-Russian entity, JokerDNR, has published blog posts intended to embarrass Ukrainian officials and even claim to be defrauding some Ukrainian government employees and military members by using alleged names, addresses, and other information. contact details.

A number of security companies and other organizations have released free versions of digital defense tools or expanded their free offerings to help Ukrainians defend their networks. For example, Google says its human rights-focused DDoS protection service Project Shield is now used by more than 150 Ukrainian websites.

Hacktivists aren’t the only ones leaking data left and right. On Tuesday, the Ukrainian newspaper Pravda published a wealth of personal data that allegedly identifies about 120,000 Russian soldiers deployed in Ukraine. And the Ukrainian IT military has been working to apply some hacktivist techniques in a more organized and strategic way.

“DDoS is all well and good, but it’s a blunt tool,” one IT military participant in “November” going on tells WIRED. “We want to be more accurate, select our targets carefully and avoid any collateral damage to the livelihood and well-being of the Russian citizenry. Our primary concern is countering Russian disinformation about the conflict, by any means necessary, and providing high-quality open source information in an effort to save Ukrainian lives.”

In a situation like the invasion of Ukraine, hacktivism could do more harm than good. Some researchers note that at its worst, hacktivism would be an incident or series of attacks that inadvertently escalate a conflict or are used by one side or the other as a pretext for escalation.

In addition, by drawing attention to the cybersecurity flaws of highly sensitive networks and digital platforms, hacktivists can inadvertently expose friendly intelligence agencies already lurking there.

“Hacktivism is always loud by nature, and intelligence is usually quiet by nature,” said incident responder and former NSA hacker Jake Williams. “Well-meaning hacktivists who are vocal can unknowingly direct security forces to intelligence operations that may be underway in that network and fly under the radar. So they are essentially locked out and losing access due to an investigation into a hacktivist attack.”

This post Hacktivists spark pandemonium amid Russia’s war in Ukraine

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