(RightWing.org) – The initial stages of armed conflict involve disrupting an opponent’s supply routes, communications systems, travel routes, financial systems, and rapid access to information. In the modern era, nations can achieve many of those goals without using a bullet, as Russia recently demonstrated with its strategic use of cyber technology in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, February 23, global internet security company ESET reported the discovery of a particularly insidious data-wiper malware system deployed against Ukraine’s infrastructure. According to ESET, it detected the new malware on hundreds of systems.
Breaking. #ESETResearch discovered a new data wiper malware used in Ukraine today. ESET telemetry shows that it was installed on hundreds of machines in the country. This follows the DDoS attacks against several Ukrainian websites earlier today 1/n
— ESET research (@ESETresearch) February 23, 2022
Anne Neuberger, the White House’s head of cybersecurity, and Great Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office attributed the attack to Russia.
Neuberger said U.S. experts had obtained data showing that infrastructure connected with Russia's GRU military intelligence agency "was seen transmitting high volumes of communication to Ukraine-based IP addresses and domains."https://t.co/TXyt9CddvO
— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) February 18, 2022
The malware takes a three-pronged approach to disrupting vital Ukrainian systems that regulate communications, energy, and other vital sectors. First, the malware penetrated Ukrainian-based systems. Then, it started corrupting data. As a final step, it reboots the system rendering it useless.
Curiously, ESET located a timestamp on one of the malware samples dating back to late December 2021, indicating hackers may have prepared to infect Ukrainian systems nearly two months in advance.
This attack wasn’t the first time Russians targeted Ukrainian systems. On January 14, news agencies reported a massive cyberattack hit several Ukrainian government websites, warning them to “expect the worst.”
Stay tuned for further developments.
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