Hoping to block the humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, Russian state military hackers are actively engaging in cyberattacks against several supporting nations in Europe to Ukraine.
This is based on a pattern that Microsoft observed in recent times, where Sandworm – a Russian intelligence hacking group, has constantly been hitting Ukraine’s infrastructure. Warning to be prepared, Microsoft says such attacks would increase during the winter period against all other NATO nations.
Targeting the Supporting Nations in War
Eight months into the war and still ongoing, neither Ukraine nor Russia seem to settle down anytime soon. While they continue to fight, Russia is following a hybrid model of attacking – with both military weapons on the ground and cyberattacks against Ukraine.
Microsoft reports that the latter has been growing over time, with a new pattern they observed revealing the rise of Sandworm attacks. Sandworm is a Russian military hacking group that has a history of over two decades!
The group in the past was accused of hitting the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, causing nationwide blackouts and wiping off sensitive data. Microsoft warns that Sandworm attacks are accompanied by a propaganda campaign to undermine Western support for Ukraine.
Russia has intensified its hybrid war against Ukraine – targeting civilians. Here’s what we anticipate Russia’s cyber and influence operations might look and how Microsoft will help prepare for and prevent harm to customers and democracies facing attacks. https://t.co/gfJ2wRRtzM
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) December 3, 2022
As the end goal of this campaign is to disrupt the supply of aid and weaponry to Ukraine, all the NATO nations helping Ukraine will also be targeted. Thus, Microsoft warns all the organizations in NATO nations (including Ukraine) to be prepared to defend, saying that such cyberattacks will increase in the coming days.
“We should also be prepared for cyber-enabled influence operations that target Europe to be conducted in parallel with cyber threat activity.”
This is the second time Microsoft is warning about the rise of cyberattacks against Ukraine, with the previous one common in June this year – where several Russian intelligence agencies have ramped up their efforts to hit Ukraine’s critical organizations for stealing war-sensitive information.