Russia's Cyber Aggression Against Ukraine May Escalate During Winter

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Russia's Cyber Aggression Against Ukraine May Escalate During Winter

Category: Critical Infrastructure Security | Industry: Global | Level: Strategic | Source: Microsoft

Microsoft issues a cautionary warning of Russian threat activity against Ukraine as the war drags into the winter season. An increase of physical and cyber attacks against Ukraine's critical infrastructure systems such as energy and water were observed in the past few months. External attacks against supply routes for food and weapons, to reduce the country's resources, also increased. Ongoing propaganda efforts are also intensified by Russian media to induce fear of challenges for Ukraine, specifically of food and energy shortages. These trends support Microsoft's prediction of increased Russian cyber threat activity, "we can expect a continuation of Russia’s cyber offensive against Ukrainian critical infrastructure. We should also be prepared for the possibility that Russian military intelligence actors’ recent execution of a ransomware-style attack – known as Prestige – in Poland may be a harbinger of Russia further extending cyberattacks beyond the borders of Ukraine. Such cyber operations may target those countries and companies that are providing Ukraine with vital supply chains of aid and weaponry this winter."

During the month of October 2022, many kinetic military strikes damaged vital critical infrastructure organizations in Ukraine along with wiper and ransomware attacks with FoxBlade, CaddyWiper, and Prestige ransomware. "Of the roughly 50 Ukrainian organizations that Russian military operators have hit with destructive wiper malware since February 2022, 55% were critical infrastructure organizations, including in the energy, transportation, water, law enforcement and emergency services, and health care sectors." Microsoft's warning of increased cyber aggression from Russia is issued as a global threat based on economic and social elements.

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