News You Really Need To See: “Russian Cyberwar Advances Military Interests in Ukraine, Report Says”

“Russian Cyberwar Advances Military Interests in Ukraine, Report Says”

Fortune, April 29, 2015

“As troops prepare to move, cyber activity flares.  Cyberwar does not take place in vacuum. When a geopolitical showdown is underway, nation states have every incentive to advance their interests using digital means.  One of the latest examples?  Russia hacking Ukrainian systems.  A report out of Arlington, Va.-based cyber security firm Lookingglass reveals a cyber campaign, allegedly Russian, waged against Ukrainian targets, such as the government, law enforcement, and military.  The purpose of the state-sponsored espionage has apparently been to gather intelligence on its adversary, bolstering Russian war efforts. … The campaign has been active since the middle of 2013, according to the report.  And it may have been catalyzed by trade talks between Ukraine and the European Union, which Russia condemned. … Often, the researchers found, the hackers stole documents relevant to the outside conflict from victims’ machines, and then used those files to compromise future targets.  The crux of the report ties Russia’s kinetic tactics to its digital intrusions.  When the researchers compared the timestamps on modified documents and malware to roughly 300 news events pertaining to Russo-Ukrainian relations, they noticed a correlation.  When troops were preparing to move, cyber activity flared.”

Quickie analysis:  It isn’t surprising that Russia is using cyberwarfare to complement its physical military efforts.  However, will shining a spotlight on the cyberwarfare force a change in calculus?

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