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Ukraine: A world lesson in cyber warfare


Cyber warfare – once considered the wave of the future – is now a permanent part of battlefield tactics.

“Cyberattacks are no longer the weapon of the future, they are the weapon of today,” claims a new study analyzing the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 48-page study, Cyber, Artillery, Propaganda. General Overview of the Dimensions of Russian Aggression, was released this week by the Economic Security Council of Ukraine, and identifies the Russian-Ukraine conflict as “the world's first large-scale cyber war.”

The study identifies numerous cyber warfare trends successfully utilized by the Russians to gain traction throughout the war – and how the global community should expect these strategies to show up in future conflicts.

Systematic cyberattacks targeting state offices, media and communication outlets, energy sectors, and critical infrastructure were some of the successful tactics used by the Russians to weaken the Ukrainian civilian population before launching its conventional full-scale invasion, according to the report.

“Cyberattacks are often coordinated with other attacks: conventional attacks on the battlefield and information-psychological and propaganda operations,” the study said.

The study provides a multitude of recommendations to combat this new frontier and warns the international community that this new form of cyber aggression ultimately has no borders and no rules, making “all democracies intrinsically vulnerable.”

The study also noted, that all cyberattacks carried out during the Russian invasion, used previously known techniques.

Some of the recommendations made to world leaders included swiftly adopting new cyber defense doctrines and international laws, defining a set of standards regarding cyber warfare and aggression.

Part of this solution would be to impose sanctions on these types of cyber aggressive regimes, including “restricting access to all modern technologies and complete economic isolation.”


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