How The Ukraine Conflict is Unleashing a Bunch of New Security Issues
Posted 02 Apr at 2:56 am in Productivity
[7 min read]
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been rampant for weeks. As the world observes global ripples throughout our economies, political climate, and even homes, the international conflict has given rise to numerous new issues.
Cybersecurity and cyber operation risks are some of the most prevalent and pertinent side effects of Russia’s latest aggression. The future of cybersecurity could be decided by what happens in these next few critical months.
Some opportunistic cybercriminals are using the conflict as cover for their illegal activities. While the world’s eyes are glued to news outlets and their minds occupied with thoughts and prayers for those harmed and displaced by the conflict, hackers can have a field day in the shadows.
One Russian hacker admitted to a ransomware plot against Tesla. The hacker attempted to bribe a Tesla employee $1 million to implant malware into Tesla’s electric battery plant in Nevada, one of the largest in the world. The FBI caught another set of hackers scanning U.S. energy firms for vulnerabilities and potentially zero-day exploits.
As Russian hackers target U.S. firms with malicious packages, fears of cyberterrorism are at an all-time high
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is bringing the importance of cybersecurity to light, being critical testaments to how a nation’s cyber presence can dictate its safety and defense competence. Despite the international conflict being somewhat new, there have been dozens of noteworthy cyber events, and many more to come.
Increased risk of Russian attacks
With U.S. sanctions setting in and American involvement teetering on overbearing, The Biden Administration warns the nation that it may already be a matter of time before the U.S. is targeted. Cybersecurity experts caution citizens and business owners to take every precaution possible.
The Biden administration backs the advice of professionals by warning everyone from families to businesses to strengthen their virtual defenses, tighten their online presence, and prepare for possible oversea online attacks.
Russian spearphishing campaign
Ukrainian cybersecurity agencies are warning countries of large-scale spearphishing attacks from the Russian Federation’s special services. The series of attacks involve fake Kyiv Police department emails and virus-injected text messages.
The emails and links contained modified remote access software that allowed foreign intelligence to gain unrestricted remote exercise over users’ computers and phones. These accusations and endeavors from the Russian special services date all the way back to 2014, further pushing governments to tread carefully around Russian cyberspace.
Large cybersecurity and antimalware companies like Malwarebytes are publishing extensive articles and reports circumnavigating the complicated and intrusive phishing scandals. We highly recommend that business owners, cybersecurity professionals, and security-conscious individuals read articles like this for more information.
Microsoft found that Russia is behind nearly 60% of state-backed hacks
Microsoft’s cybersecurity team found that Russia accounted for nearly two-thirds of state-sponsored attacks throughout the last year. Microsoft publishes large, in-depth analyses of its cyber findings throughout the year.
The Digital Defense Report observed dozens of cyberattacks carried out through Microsoft software vulnerabilities, many of which point back to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. However, Russia and its intelligence personnel are denying any involvement.
Microsoft also denoted a 58% increase in all hacks detected by the company alone, up from just over 50%. The Defense Report also details how such attacks may impact U.S. allies and adversaries, cites ransomware attacks on various countries, and analyzes hacking patterns of high-profile countries.
Hackers Releasing Data From Belarus to Overthrow The Lukashenko Regime
These hackers, The Belarusian Cyber Partisans, have recently released portions of a massive data trove that supposedly includes secret police and government databases. The highly secretive information contains arrays of accused police informants, personal government official information, spies, and police drone and prison video footage.
According to sources, the hacked databases also contain hidden mortality statistics from Belarus’ Covid-19 outbreak, indicating thousands more people died than the government has publicly declared.
The hackers also took responsibility for compromising over 240 surveillance cameras. Experts quote that long-term consequences could lead to severe socio-economic consequences.
If the information gets audited, government proclamations could be rendered null and void, international efforts could be used to prosecute Lukashenko and his allies. Exploiting Lithuanian infrastructure currently causes countless problems within the country, such as excessive COVID-19 lockdowns, crippled counter-espionage teams, and threatening the entire country’s national security.
Russian Hackers and Baltic energy networks
Multiple hackers are suspected of launching exploratory hacks against Baltic state energy networks. Sources also state that this could prove problematic for NATO countries.
The Baltics, despite being caged into Russia’s energy network, plan to unite grids with the European Union, a NATO country. Sources indicate that hackers have exploited Baltic networks for over two years, parallel with much more severe Ukrainian attacks that nearly shut the county down.
Russian hackers don’t stop there. Dozens of widespread cyber disruptions have threatened the safety of citizens and government security. From malware and ransomware attacks to implementing zero-days as they please, the Ukrainian conflict is birthing new and increasingly dangerous threats, some rooting as far back as 2014.