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Going Toe-to-Toe With Ukraine’s Separatist Hackers

Abstract: 
"The proliferation of cyber espionage tools empower even small breakaway regions to run digital intelligence operations." The article demonstrates an interaction between a hacker attempting to conduct malicious activity on a Ukrainian government computer and an analyst working for a U.S. cybersecurity company. The article also discusses the difficulty identifying whether or not the Russian-aligned separatist group (Luhansk People's Republic) is actually receiving support from the Russian government. In this specific campaign, hackers "relied on a mix of publicly available hacking tools and custom-made software," the latter called RatVermin. Ukraine has been a test bed for Russian activity since at least 2014, where the Russian government conducts cyber activities to shut down electrical systems, conduct information operations, and enhance their efficacy of hybrid warfare.
Author: 
Elias Groll
Institution: 
Foreign Policy
Year: 
2019
Input By: 
Dan Kurtenbach
Affiliation: 
MIT
Domains-Issue Area: 
Region(s): 
Industry Focus: 
Internet & Cyberspace
Country: 
Ukraine
Datatype(s): 
Case Studies
Policies
Organizations