Viktor Zhora was giving a press conference on the cyber-conflict from an undisclosed location

According to the ministry, it is constantly subjected to cyber-attacks on its government and infrastructure networks, with individual officials now being targeted.

It claims that its cyber-defenses repel the majority of attacks.

It did, however, add that the cyber-conflict with Russia was unprecedented, referring to it as a “hybrid war.”

“These two wars [we are fighting] are part of this hybrid war,” said Viktor Zhora, deputy chairman of the State Service of Special Communications, at the first press conference since the war began.

“This is happening for the first time in history, and I believe that cyber-war can only end when conventional war ends, and we will do everything we can to bring this moment closer.”


The Anonymous hacking collective has taken up cyber-arms against Russia

In 2015 and 2016, hackers believed to be acting on orders from the Kremlin knocked out power in Ukrainian cities.
Other assaults on Ukraine, such as NotPetya in 2017, have been attributed on Russia by Western intelligence services.
Three waves of low-level cyber-attacks hit the country in the weeks preceding up to the invasion, one of which the UK and US blamed on Russian military hackers.
Websites of the government and banking services were briefly taken down, and some were defaced with a warning to Ukrainians to “expect the worst.”
At the same time, officials identified a more serious “wiper” attack that erased data from a small number of private Ukrainian firm networks.
However, the cyber-security community has been astonished by Russia’s absence of large-scale strikes during the war.
Mr. Zhora claims that they are taking place, but that Ukraine’s defenses are preventing them.

IT Army of Ukraine

Ukraine websites were defaced with a threatening message in February

The organization’s Telegram group already has 270,000 members, but the ministry estimates that up to 400,000 hackers are fighting for Ukraine online.

Mr Zhora defended the cyber-formation, army’s claiming that it is a “voluntary movement” and that no attacks on civilian computer networks are planned.

“We call it cyber-resistance, and we’re doing everything we can to keep our territory and cyber-space safe.” We’re attempting to secure our networks while also making the aggressor feel uneasy about their operations in cyberspace and on Ukrainian soil.

“These cyber-warriors aren’t going after civilians; they’re going after military and government targets.”

World order changed

Other groups have joined the fight, notably the hacker collective Anonymous, which has declared “cyber-war” on President Putin.

The group claims to have been defacing Russian websites and encouraged individuals to “review bomb” Russian businesses online with anti-war comments.

Mr Zhora claims that while he cannot condone illicit hacking, regular peacetime rules do not apply.

“Any criminal action in cyberspace is not tolerated by us.” We believe that each component should be accountable for their activities. On February 24, however, the world order shifted.

“We have martial law in Ukraine, and I don’t think appealing to moral precepts will succeed because our adversary has none.”


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