Washington Post Reveals How Russia’s Much-Vaunted Cyber Capability Failed in Ukraine

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius published an article about how major US technology companies helped Ukraine fend off Russian hackers.

In a column titled “How Russia’s vaunted cyber capability failed in Ukraine“, he writes about the cooperation between the giants of silicon valley and the US authorities with Kyiv.

David Ignatius
David Ignatius

Let me remind you that we also talked about the fact that Cybersecurity specialists discovered a new campaign to distribute the Russian malware RedLine Stealer on YouTube.

Russia, Ignatius argued, tried hard to use its Internet offensive capabilities, but Ukraine, in cooperation with private technology companies, Western intelligence and its own programming experts, quickly repaired much of the damage.

The close partnership that has developed between American tech companies and Western cybersecurity agencies is one of the underestimated aspects of this war. The private-state spat that followed Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 appears to be largely over. This is a response to Russia’s aggression against the US presidential elections in 2016 and 2020, and now the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.David Ignatius writes.

Among other things, the observer lists the following aspects of cooperation between Ukraine, the US government and American technology companies:

  1. US Cyber Command experts went to Ukraine a few months before the start of the war. Microsoft and Google started helping Kyiv even earlier.
  2. According to a White House official, a Ukrainian hacker has turned out to be a member of the Russian group of Internet scammers Conti, which was engaged in the distribution of “invading” software. He “leaked” huge amounts of source code and other data that made it possible to neutralize the attackers.
  3. Microsoft spent $239 million on financial and technical assistance to Ukraine. Among other things, the company’s experts worked closely with the Ukrainian authorities to identify and prevent potential threats. According to White House officials, in the early days of the war, Microsoft was able to quickly disable a Russian hacker program that attempted to delete all data on the Ukrainian government’s servers.
  4. Google provided more than 200 Ukrainian sites (and another 2.3 thousand sites in 140 countries) with access to the “Project Shield” program, designed to protect against DDOS attacks – when hackers try to “put down” a particular Internet server , bombarding it with a huge number of automated requests.
  5. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has given Ukraine many terminals for satellite internet provided through its “Starlink” network.

At the same time, as Ignatius notes, Ukrainian Internet experts who could play a decisive role in this struggle.

20 years ago, the country was notorious as a hacker hub, and it was from there that the first credit card scammers operated.writes a Washington Post columnist.

But, according to experts, this level of digital development has become the most important advantage of Ukrainian defence against Russia.

The paradoxical benefit of this terrible war was the fact that, given Russia’s dependence on Western technology (and it even extends to cyber-attacks), Ukraine will now be able to adequately respond to the Kremlin for many years. The longer this conflict continues, the less effective will become vaunted Russian capabilities in the cyber sphere.concludes Ignatius.

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About William Reddy

I am from Ireland. My parents bought me a computer when I was 11, and several months after I have got a virus on this PC. I decided to enter the INSA Centre Val de Loire university after being graduated from the school. This French educational institution was offering a brand-new cybersecurity course. After getting the master's degree in cybersecurity, I've started working as a virus analyst in a little anti-malware vendor.