• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Russia Launched Cyber Attacks Against Ukraine Before Ship Seizures, Firm Says (1 Viewer)

Rogue Valley

Lead or get out of the way
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
Reaction score
Political Leaning
Russia Launched Cyber Attacks Against Ukraine Before Ship Seizures, Firm Says


Defense One

Russian government-affiliated actors launched coordinated cyber attacks against Ukrainian government and military targets before and during the attack and seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors on November 25, a private intelligence firm announced this week. The attacks appeared to be aimed at stealing information that would have been relevant to planning the operation, according to Stealthcare, a cyber threat intelligence group. If so, the revelation challenges Russia’s already widely-disputed claim that Ukraine initiated the crisis. Russia has a long history of timing cyber attacks to offensive operations, going back to Georgia in 2008. Russian cyber attacks have featured heavily in the Ukraine conflict, most significantly knocking out power on Christmas Eve 2015 for thousands of Ukrainians. This autumn, Stealthcare first observed a Russian state-baked entity known as the Carbanak group develop a new phishing campaign, using deceptive emails to convince targets to click links and download malware around Oct. 25. The targets were government agencies in Ukraine and across Eastern Europe, according to CEO Jeremy Samide. Attached to the emails were PDFs with links and other pieces of code that, when executed, would allow the attacker to steal or exfiltrate data and gain control over important computer functions. While Samide said he couldn’t say which government entities were targeted, because of sensitivities surrounding the target, he said they would have had information related to Ukrainian foreign and naval affairs, information that would have been very useful if you wanted to engineer a maritime crisis. Samide says there is “no doubt” that this was a Kremlin-led reconnaissance effort to prepare for the Kerch Strait crisis.

A separate Russian actor tied to the Russian FSB, called the Gamaredon Group, targeted Ukrainian government agencies with a backdoor attack called Pterodo, tailored to Windows, a few days before Nov. 20, when Stealthcare first reported seeing it. On Nov. 26, just as Russia seized Ukrainian vessels and imprisoned Ukrainian sailors, Stealthcare observed a second, coordinated attack by the Carbanak group aimed at key Ukrainian government and military targets. The malware linked to the phishing attack would have allowed for the theft of data or emails. Russian cyber offensive operations are a growing concern for U.S. policymakers, particularly Democratic Sen. Mark Warner from Virginia, ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee. “Countries like Russia are increasingly merging cyberattacks with traditional information operations,” he said at the Center for New American Security, in Washington on Friday. “This emerging brand of hybrid, cyber warfare exploits our greatest strengths our openness and the free flow of ideas. Unfortunately, we just aren’t waking up to that fact.”

If Stealthcare is correct, and they have no reason to fudge their findings, the Russian naval military operation against 2 small Ukrainian patrol craft and a tugboat on 25 November 2018 were assisted by cyber operations.

Ergo, planned and premeditated attacks against Ukraine vessels in the Black Sea and Strait of Kerch.

P.S. The 24 kidnapped Ukrainian sailors have been transferred to Lefortovo Prison, the infamous former KGB prison in Moscow.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom