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Russian Cyber Army Targets Ukraine

Bogdan Pătru

By Bogdan Pătru . 16 March 2024

Tech Writer

Miklos Zoltan

Fact-Checked this

Russian Cyber Army targeted Ukraine again, this time going for PEOPLEnet. This is the first wireless 3G mobile operator that launched in Ukraine in 2007. The hackers posted evidence of the attack on their public platform.

  • Russian Cyber Army is the most recognizable cybercriminal operator in the world, being associated with the Russian state
  • The organization has been active for decades and has conducted operations against numerous countries and governments over time
  • This recent attack was meant to further destabilize Ukraine’s infrastructure and impact its ability to resist the Russian invasion
  • Russian Cyber Army often collaborates with other pro-Russian actors to put together even larger DDoS operations

Ukraine hasn’t commented on the recent attack, but the victim organization may release a public statement later on. DDoS and ransomware attacks have become normal in Ukraine post-February 2022 and even before that.

All pro-Russian cybercriminal actors have united to face a common enemy in the form of the Ukrainian government. Some of the most notable names that have taken a stance against Ukraine include NoName, Killnet, Xaknet, and Anonymous Sudan.

X showing the Russian Cyber Army attack on PEOPLEnet

But these are simply the most notorious ones. According to the latest CISA statistics, there are dozens of small, medium, and large cybercriminal organizations that are invested in Ukraine’s destruction. And they don’t only target Ukraine.

Organizations like the Russian Cyber Army, NoName, and Anonymous Sudan often hit Ukraine’s allies as well, with NoName being the most prolific in this sense. NoName often produces up to 15 victims per day and doesn’t take days off.

Russian Cyber Army follows the same MO, constantly looking for worthy targets. Like NoName, it prefers to focus on governmental institutions and only hits private corporations when their services have a larger social impact.

The Profile of Russia’s Professional Army of Hackers

Russia has been involved in the hacking business since the 90s, which means it had sufficient time to polish its MOs and tactics. In modern times, Russia is playing a global cybernetic warfare and qualifies as one of the most capable players on the field.

Russian Cyber Army has conducted numerous operations over time, most of them against high-value, well-protected targets. This includes the infamous breach against Ukraine’s very own nuclear agency.

The reason why the Russian Cyber Army appears to be more relevant today than in the past is because of a change in PR. To put it simply, the cybercriminal actor has decided to become more transparent and visible and use its operations to intimidate.

This is contrary to Russia’s old ways when they were using cyber-attacks silently and denied any connection to the events. Russian Cyber Army does everything publicly and uses aggressive tactics to disable their targets’ systems and paralyze their operations.

One way they achieve that is by using millions of bots to flood the victim’s systems and overwhelm their websites. These types of operations often take the target offline for days, if not weeks.

This recent attack is but one of many to come, given that the Ruso-Ukrainian conflict is ramping up fast.

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