Effect of Russian Cyberattacks on Ukraine on Unrelated Parties

Enterprise Security Magazine | Thursday, May 19, 2022

An extensive analysis of Russian hacking during its war in Ukraine and its global consequences regarding cybersecurity

FREEMONT, CA: While cyberattacks are a continuous threat to both government and private organisations, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brings a new set of problems to the landscape. Despite Russian cyberattacks being concentrated on Ukrainian military infrastructure and pro-Ukrainian sites, the impact zone of the breach can often expand and affect unrelated digital networks, which poses a problem for CIOs and CISOs.

Russian cyber activity so far appears to be centred around denial-of-service (DNS) attacks and the miscellaneous and widespread deployment of malware that erases data from databases and devices. One particular piece of malware, named “Whispergate,” wiping data from computers in banks, government agencies, and other countries, has been traced back to Russian hackers.

Attacks on companies in the U.S and Western Europe may still seem remote, but the circumstances of these cyber breaches show a disturbing similarity to the “NotPetya” attack of 2017. NotPetya was designed to disrupt power grids and communications in Ukraine. An unforeseen side effect quickly spread to a number of cloud data centres, costing global enterprises such as FedEx and Merck more than 1 Billion dollars in losses. This incident has proved that attacks can easily infiltrate public cloud data centres or even private clouds, indiscriminately wiping out high-value data for businesses worldwide.

The way to protect an enterprise is firstly knowing the whereabouts of its most valuable assets. The company needs to predict where threats might try to access its network. Acting on this set of knowledge gives it the high ground over cybercriminals. Building defences, managing identities, encrypting data, training security teams, mitigating intrusions and even laying traps for attackers once they’re inside the company’s network become achievable once these security procedures are followed.

Part of the benefits of following CISA guidelines and creating a proactive plan is to avoid the costs of making ransomware payments or suffering the financial blow of disruptions to business operations. But the endgame is confidence, which is the ability to build a digital-first business and pursue professional goals without fear.