The United States and the UK have ‘quietly’ dispatched cyber warfare experts to Ukraine in an attempt to help sabotage any cyber warfare threats like that in the 2015 Ukraine power grid hack when Russian hackers remotely took over a power company’s control centre. It was the first publicly acknowledged attack using digital weaponry that attacked the Ukrainian power grid, causing power outages across the country. In the hopes of protecting Kyiv, as the US and allies speculate the next move of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, both the UK, and the US have sent their cyber warfare teams over fears that Russia may potentially launch a cyber attack, the New York Times reported.
Moscow, which has concentrated heavy troops and artillery on the frontier with Ukraine might actually be using distraction to launch the cyberattacks and destroy Ukraine’s power grids, the banking system, and other important components that might hit former Soviet union’s neighbour’s economy and impact the governance as well as other critical infrastructure. While the US officials have refused to disclose the type of cyber teams that have been sent to Kyiv, the paper reported that the US intelligence believes that Putin may be trying to make Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy look ‘inept’ and weaken his government in order to make it strategically more convenient to launch an offensive.
Russia’s cyber campaign against Ukraine ‘never ended’: US officials
Apparently, Russia’s cyber campaign against Ukraine never ended, US officials said, but they added that in the recent weeks the actions turned more rigorous as tensions escalated the past month over troop build-up. “This is a widespread campaign targeting many Ukrainian government agencies, including home affairs – the national police – and their electric utilities,” Dmitry Alperovich, a leading Russian cyber activity investigator and chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a new research group in Washington told the NYTimes. The former migrated to the United States from Russia and believed that such cyber attacks were in fact a “preparation for the battlefield” for Moscow.
Although US national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, said that it was uncertain at this time exactly when and how Russia might invade Ukraine. “The current assessment of the US government is that it [Russia] has not made a decision,” he said, stressing that Russian cyber activity has received intense attention from the White House, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the United States Cyber Command, including “Cyber forces”, which have been deployed by the Biden administration to identify vulnerabilities and protect Kyiv.