"Cyber Civil War" Pandora's Box Opened June 27, 17:47
"I felt it was a wrong war. I couldn't forgive it,"
said a Japanese man conducting a cyberattack on Russia in response to a call from the Ukrainian government.
The endless battle between Russia and Ukraine extends beyond armed battles to the exchange of fierce attacks in cyberspace.
And now, the citizens of the world who are not combatants are participating in the battle one after another.
The "World Cyber War" in which citizens who are expanding with the risk of criminal activity and the risk of retaliation participated.
Don't look away from the danger.
Ukraine "IT Army"
Two days after the start of the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Fyodorov called for such support on SNS.
"We will create an IT army. We seek people in the digital field.
We will continue to fight on the cyber front."
"IT army" = "IT Army of Ukraine".
The idea is to gather people who cooperate in cyber attacks on Russia on SNS.
As of June 22, more than 250,000 people have registered for this social network account.
What kind of people are gathering?
Looking at the comments in the post, most of them were in Ukrainian, but some of them were in English.
We sent a message directly to about 50 people and tried to interview them.
Reporter: "Which country are you from?"
Reply: "I'm from the United States. My profession is a security expert. It's my responsibility to help a country that is likely to be slaughtered for no reason."
In addition, comments saying that they are registered from Europe and Asia could be confirmed on the related SNS.
It seems that participation is taking place from all over the world.
Japanese who "participate"
As I proceeded with the interview, I found that multiple Japanese people participated in the "IT Army".
One of them responded to the interview directly.
First, he asked why he wanted to join the "IT Army," the man said:
A man who participates in the "IT Army"
"Russia's invasion has begun, and I felt this was a strange, wrong war. Trampling on people's freedom, disturbing what I wanted to do, I think it's no good. I couldn't forgive that. If I overlooked this, the steadily advancing free world would return to the last century. The call of the IT Army of Ukraine's deputy prime minister was issued all over the world. ) "I felt that it would be meaningful if we could stop the war as much as possible so that the war would end sooner."
A man who has been an IT engineer for many years said he had knowledge of computers but had no experience of cyber attacks.
He independently gathered information on the attack method.
He said that by combining tools published on the Internet, he was able to immediately participate in the attack.
A man who participates in the "IT Army"
"In the beginning, the Russian side did not protect much against cyber attacks, and I was banged from the outside. It feels like I was overwhelmed by the number."
What is the "DDoS attack" launched by the IT army?
Following the instructions of the "IT Army", what men are doing is called a "DDoS attack".
It is one of the cyber attacks that puts a heavy load on websites and servers by sending a large amount of data and drives them to stop functioning.
The attack destination is listed on SNS by the "IT Army" on a daily basis and instructed.
Participants will follow suit and launch attacks one after another from all over the world.
In addition, the "IT Army" offers a variety of attack tools for the unskilled.
For example, the software named "Death by a Thousand Needles" was designed so that it could be attacked simply by downloading and launching it.
Currently, the "IT Army" is targeting more than 900 Russian financial institutions, transportation facilities, and the media.
(As of June 22)
The official website of the "IT Army" also has a page to grasp the situation in real time whether the site targeted for the attack is actually stopped, and how effective the attack is. You can see if it is there.
Cyber attacks on citizens
Against this backdrop, President Putin announced last month (May) that a cyberattack on Russia has had a serious impact on civilian life.
"There is a clear invasion of Russia, a war in the information space. A significant increase. Attempts are being made to invalidate the Internet resources of important information infrastructure."
DDoS attacks carried out by these "IT forces".
The purpose is to shut down websites and servers, but if many attacks are intermittently received from participants around the world over a long period of time, it will be difficult for the defenders to respond.
Moreover, experts point out that the damage is not small.
Mr. Yu Arai of NTT DATA
"For example, if you attack a shopping site, you will not be able to sell it and you will not be able to make a profit. It is a type of attack that gradually works, causing financial damage and general citizens. It seems that there is also an intention to make the citizens dissatisfied with the Russian government authorities by forcing them to inconvenience. "
At first, there are conflicts ... Cyber attacks are becoming more commonplace
We say that the impact of the attack on Japanese men participating in the "IT Army" could extend not only to the Russian government but also to the general public.
He pointed out that he could come into contact with the law.
A man who participates in the "IT Army" "
Of course, I am aware that it is a crime, so there was a conflict, but I continue to say that this is something I have to do. At first, I was quite mentally unstable because I could imagine how troubled the user was. My hands became cold, my body trembled, and so on for about a week. The act I'm doing is the same as my usual job of hitting the keyboard, but the mental pressure of "participating in the war" was great. "
Every afternoon, men check the list of attack destinations posted on SNS by the "IT Army", and based on that, repeatedly run their own programs to attack about 10 websites etc. ..
And he said that the man's initial conflict has now diminished.
A man who participates in the "IT Army"
"Now, the IT Army is moving systematically, and the time when orders come is almost fixed, so I repeat it every day. Make it a routine work and eat rice. It's the same as the war. It's become familiar, it's become a part of life. Don't say it's paralyzed, what do you say? "
" Maybe it's a war on the actual battlefield. Maybe it's with the people who are participating in the war. It's scary until I shoot the first one with a gun, but after shooting 10 people, I think I'll be able to do it very mechanically ... I think it's the same feeling. There are more than 250,000 people all over the world. "
Criminal activity is not recommended
The Ukrainian "IT Army" in which "ordinary citizens" from all over the world participate.
When I looked into related sites in detail, I found a manual that explained the attack method in detail.
There was such a proviso there.
"Be aware that cyber attacks are highly illegal in many countries and can be caught."
Cyber attacks are legally banned in many countries, including Japan.
Experts say that many participants understand the risks of a cyberattack as a criminal offense and do not know if they are participating, but they are aware of the risks and risk some retaliation. Points out.
Professor Motohiro Tsuchiya of Keio University
"Many people may be participating to help Ukraine, but if their identities are identified by their IP addresses, they may be arrested for violating the Unauthorized Computer Access Law. There is also concern about the possibility of retaliation from the other party. As the influence of cyber attacks becomes enormous, it may be judged that they are actually participating in the war and attacking. "
Some groups support the Russian side
A cyber attack in which citizens participate.
As we proceeded with the interview, we found that several groups supporting Russia have appeared.
One of them, the hacker group "KILLNET" = KILLNET.
Declared retaliation even in countries other than Ukraine if considered hostile to Russia.
It claims to have attacked US airports and the Italian government's website.
The US Department of Homeland Security points out the danger by name, saying, "It poses a threat to critical infrastructure around the world."
We applied for coverage on "Killnet" and were able to get an answer.
"We are a group of ordinary Russians who do not like the situation surrounding Russia. The patience bag has run out. World War III has been set up against our country, but we are just standing still. I can't do it. "
Why attack countries other than Ukraine?
"We are attacking countries that have anti-Russian policies and are supporting Ukraine. You should know what power we have." Is
Japan also the target of the attack?
"Japan is no exception. At the moment it is a low priority, but we have not forgotten the fact that Japan is hostile to Russia."
Experts from the American security company Mandiant, which analyzes the world's hacker groups, pointed out the danger that retaliation could lead to retaliation and cyber warfare would escalate.
Mandiant Intelligence Analyst John Hartquist
"Russia is under significant pressure from sanctions, and it's a natural idea to launch a cyberattack in retaliation. Now it's just a simple attack, but when it evolves into an advanced attack. It ’s not strange. ”
Cyber attacks that fly to the world
In fact, cyber attacks on countries that supported Ukraine are occurring one after another.
According to an interview with the Swiss NGO "Cyber Peace Institute," which analyzes the major cyber attacks in the world that occurred after the invasion, more than 50 cyber attacks have been confirmed, mainly in NATO member countries, after the invasion. That is.
For example, in May, a DDoS attack was carried out on live distribution services during the "Eurovision Song Contest", a song festival against each country in Europe, and in France, President Macron in March, ahead of the presidential election. A cyber attack aimed at downing the website of the political party to which he belongs was also confirmed.
Many of the attack methods are to bring down the websites of governments in each country, but some of them seem to have aimed at stealing confidential data.
All the actors in a rush
In addition to the Ukrainian "IT Army" and the Russian "Kilnet", all attack groups have appeared in cyberspace after the invasion.
Among the Ukrainian "IT Army", a group of only Japanese people was confirmed, and there was also a group of tens of thousands formed mainly by Ukrainian university students.
On the Russian side, there was also a group that seems to have been formed by Chinese.
In addition, a group of hackers called "Anonymous" for the purpose of political assertion is a mixture of several groups, such as those on the Russian side and those on the Ukrainian side.
Cyberspace is more chaotic than ever.
Dugan, director of the Cyberpeace Institute, analyzes the current situation that the military and civilian divisions are no longer separate.
Cyber Peace Institute Director Stephane Dugan
"Everyone is a combatant and participates in the war, but like any army or military personnel, he is responsible for attacking without affecting civilians. Since the invasion, what is the military and the privatization can no longer be positioned in cyberspace. "
We have now attempted to contact more than 100 people who appear to be involved in cyberattacks.
While some have revealed their indignation over the Russian invasion, it is suspected that they are participating in a "festive sense", such as immediately demanding money from this side or making fun of them with vulgar words. There were a certain number of people who had no choice but to do so.
The hurdles for "participation" in cyberspace are lower than ever.
Professor Motohiro Tsuchiya of Keio University warns about the danger.
Professor Motohiro Tsuchiya of Keio University
"Participating in a cyber attack is an obvious criminal act in Japan and Western countries, and retaliation calls for retaliation, which is a risky act that helps Ukrainian people. I know I want to, but it's very dangerous to do it for fun. If retaliation is done, it may involve family and colleagues. "
" It is said that people will not die from cyber attacks so far .
However, if the hospital gets stuck in an attack, people may die. There is a new hybrid battle in which not only the government and the military but also private companies and the general public participate. It's hard to tell what's right. In the future, various wars may lead to cyber warfare involving the citizens of the world. The Japanese government and we think about this. I have to go "
Cyber warfare continues to expand, involving not only the citizens of the countries involved in the conflict but also the citizens of other countries.
There are no borders, no distinction between military personnel and civilians.
Whether it is a fighting act or not, the legal line is ambiguous.
No one can predict when and where it will fly.
"World cyber warfare by citizens".
Pandora's box was opened.
We must not look away from the danger.
Yohei Fukuda ,
Reporter, Faculty of Science and Culture
Joined in 2013.
He has been in the Faculty of Science and Culture since April 2021 after working at the Okayama and Sapporo stations.
His areas of responsibility are IT / cyber security and culture / art (art / art).
Naofumi Okamoto ,
Director of the Social Program Department Joined the Social Program Department
After working at the Okinawa Bureau and the Economic Program Department, he has been a member of the Social Program Department since 2021.Keywords: