Volunteer Hackers Conquer Ukraine Conflict With No One Accused

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Volunteer Hackers Conquer Ukraine Conflict With No One Accused

Ukraine has been more deliberate about recruiting a volunteer hacking force. In Telegram channels, participants rejoice their cooperation with the government in pursuing goals such as the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank. There hasn’t been the same kind of open call to action from Russia, where ties between the government and hacking groups have long raised alarm among Western officials.

“We are creating an IT army,” Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted on Saturday, directing cybersecurity enthusiasts to a Telegram channel with instructions to knock Russian websites offline. “There will be tasks for all.” As of Friday, the Telegram channel had over 285,000 subscribers.

Inside the main English-language Telegram page for Ukraine’s IT military is a 14-page introductory document that provides details about how people can participate, including what software to hide their whereabouts and identity. have to download. Every day, new targets are listed, including websites, telecommunications firms, banks and ATM processors.

Yegor Aushev, co-founder of Ukrainian cyber security company Cyber ​​Unit Technologies, said he was flooded with notes after posting a call on social media for programmers to join. His company offered a reward of $100,000 to those who identified flaws in the code of Russian cyber targets.

Mr. Oushev said more than 1,000 people were involved in his effort, working closely with the government. People were only allowed to attend if someone made a vow to them. Organized into small groups, they were intended to hit high-impact targets such as critical infrastructure and logistics systems for the Russian military.

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“It has become a free machine, a distributed international digital army,” said Mr. Aushev. “The biggest hack against Russia will happen soon,” he said without elaborating.

A government spokesman confirmed the work with Mr. Aushev.

It is always difficult to find out who is behind a cyber attack. Groups falsely take credit or claim greater influence than they actually have. But this week there were several attacks on Russian targets. The country’s largest stock exchange, a state-controlled bank and the Russian foreign ministry were briefly taken offline, targeted by volunteer hackers from Ukraine.

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