The war in Ukraine also extends to the computer field.

Groups linked to the Russian state have carried out more than 200 computer attacks against Ukraine and its infrastructure since the beginning of the invasion, according to a Microsoft report published on Wednesday.

The American computer giant details "Russia's destructive and relentless cyberattacks in its hybrid war against Ukraine", explains Tom Burt, Microsoft vice president in charge of customer security, in a summary of the report.

A threat to “the well-being of civilians”

These attacks "not only damaged the systems of institutions in Ukraine but also targeted the disruption of the population's access to reliable information and vital services on which civilians depend, and attempted to undermine trust in the leaders of the country,” he notes.

Just prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, "we saw at least six separate actors linked to the Russian state launch more than 237 operations against Ukraine, including destructive attacks that are still ongoing and threaten the well-being of civilians”, continues this text.

“Nearly 40” attacks were directly “destructive” for Ukrainian public institutions in particular, and were accompanied by espionage activities.

Attacks in preparation since March 2021

Microsoft also notes that the temporality of the attacks “appears strongly correlated, and sometimes directly stalled, with the ground operations” of the Russian army.

Thus, continues the company at the origin of Windows, which equips most of the computers in the world, one of the Russian attack groups targeted a "major broadcasting company" on March 1, the very day of the bombardment on the television tower in kyiv.

Computer attackers "use a wide range of techniques to access their targets", including phishing, or phishing, and the use of unresolved security vulnerabilities.

According to Microsoft, preparations for these attacks date back to March 2021 and intensified in early 2022, as Russia massed its troops near Ukraine's borders.

Countries that support Ukraine also targeted

“Russian cyberattacks were deployed to support the military's strategic and tactical objectives.

It is likely that the attacks we have observed are only a fraction of the activity that is targeting Ukraine,” Tom Burt also notes in his summary of the report.

These attacks on the networks should continue and increase, he adds, in particular towards the countries which support the Ukrainian war effort against Russia.

On April 20, the United States and four other Western countries warned that their intelligence services had information that Russia was preparing to launch massive cyberattacks against Ukraine's allies.

Microsoft says it has assisted the Ukrainian authorities 24 hours a day in dealing with these attacks.


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