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We repel up to 10 Russian cyberattacks daily, Ukraine says

Russia inflicts an average of more than ten cyberattacks on Ukraine every day, and the number of hits has tripled since the beginning of 2022, Security Service of Ukraine said.

According to Ilya Vityuk, the head of the Cyber ​​Security Department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the agency has stopped more than 4,500 cyberattacks on Ukraine this year.

Of course, massive attacks were registered even before Russia began its invasion at the end of February. As Cybernews reported earlier this year, Russian military hackers were behind a spate of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that briefly knocked Ukrainian banking and government websites offline.

The SBU, quoted by a Ukrainian news website Freedom, says this actually became a sort of a training exercise for the agents.

With the beginning of the war, the number of attacks started to grow explosively. For instance, in 2020, there were around 800 cyber attacks. In 2021, the number of attacks increased to 1,400, and now the figure has tripled.

According to the SBU, Russia uses cyber operations to target energy, logistics, military facilities, as well as IT centers of state institutions.

“We monitor risks and threats in real-time 24/7. We know most of the hackers who work with the Russian special services against us by name. We are working to document them. After the victory of Ukraine, a separate block of meetings of the international military tribunal will await them,” Vityuk said.

He added that the SBU is seeing more than ten cyberattacks on Ukraine per day, and that the population “does not even know about the majority” of them.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, the head of Britain’s signals-intelligence service GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), recently told The Economist it would be a “fallacy” to say that cyber has not been a factor in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The United Kingdom is helping Ukraine defend the country against Russian cyberattacks – as are other Western powers, companies, and volunteer organizations.

For example, Microsoft disbursed Kyiv’s digital infrastructure into the public cloud, hence supporting critical Ukrainian services through data centers across Europe. Anonymous, a hacker collective, said it launched a “cyberwar” against Russia right after the invasion of Ukraine began.

A paper by Jon Bateman, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recently said that Russia’s cyber operations in Ukraine have apparently not had much military impact, though.

“This is probably for a multitude of reasons: Russia’s offensive limitations, as well as the defensive efforts of Ukraine and its partners; the particular context of this war, as well as structural features of cyberspace and warfare generally,” Bateman wrote.

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