While the majority of us have watched the illegal invasion of Ukraine by the increasingly unhinged Vladimir Putin and have been obsessed with the military maneuvers on the ground, a far different war is happening in cyberspace.
On March 1st, the Ukrainian newspaper Pravda released the individual details of some 120,000 Russian soldiers obtained by a hack of one or more official Russian databases, effectively ‘doxxing’ the troops.
Just wow wow wow. The Ukrainian newspaper Pravda leaked what appear to be personal data of 120,000 Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine — if confirmed as accurate, we're probably looking at one of the best-timed and most devastating leaks of all time https://t.co/LN9ei2RPUF
— Thomas Rid 🌻 (@RidT) March 1, 2022
Regrettably, the preliminary reports didn’t really reflect what actually occurred. Subsequent analysis of the hacked data shows that it is connected with individual units and also not a listing of soldiers currently in Ukraine. But, as Winston Churchill (or Mark Twain or another person) claimed, “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” The data as well as the initial spin related to it unquestionably had an influence in Russia in addition to being an advantage for Russian fraudsters.
Confirmed: Cyberspace Is A Major WWIII Battlefield
One more significant front in this cyberwar is Russia itself. The websites of major Russian media have been hacked. For instance, State Media outlet TASS has actually been repeatedly hacked and also defaced with anti-war and also anti-Putin slogans, and the quotes of Russian casualties assembled by the Ukrainian Protection Ministry have actually been posted. In addition, the news sites rbc.ru, kommersant.ru, fontanka.ru, and iz.ru have all been the targets of repeated cyberattacks.
One of the more fascinating assaults has happened in Belarus. The Belarus rail system has been targeted and also is supposedly servicing a much-reduced timetable under manual-dispatch policies.
— Niels Groeneveld (@nigroeneveld) March 1, 2022
Several Belarussian banks have been closed down due to cyberattacks.
It seems that there are 2 different projects underway. On the one hand, we have the “Anonymous” types who desire media attention. They hack the public pages of prominent online media outlets and companies, deface them, and discuss it on social media sites. On the other hand, the attack on the Belarus rail system appears a lot more strategic. Its key purpose seems to be to restrict Russian army motions into Ukraine. Particularly noteworthy is that there was no defaced website to accompany that attack. Also, there was no synchronic claim of responsibility for the financial institution strikes.
One wonders if the astonishing logistics FUBAR is not the result of the stereotyped slapdash Russian approach to supply and also upkeep operations but an “invisible hand” assaulting computer system systems required to handle fuel, ammunition, food, etc, spare components. If this tale is to be believed, it looks like Russian devices are increasingly deserting secure military communications for in-the-clear approaches. Again, this could be the well-known technique of the Russian Military at play, or it might indicate a ‘secure system’ infected with malware and no longer functional.
All in all, it is hard to imagine precisely what is going on, but it feels like a considerable fight is happening in the online world where the Russians are either barely holding their own or being overwhelmed.