Ukraine is recruiting a volunteer IT army of cyber security experts and white hat hackers to launch cyberattacks on a list of Russian entities. The list is composed of 31 targets including Russian critical infrastructure, government agencies, banks, hosting prividers.
Ukraine’s Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhaylo Fedorov called to action against Russia attempting to create an “IT Army” to launch a massive offensive against Russia.
A Telegram channel was used to coordinate the efforts and plan the cyber-attacks that will be conducted by the IT Army.
“We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.me/itarmyofurraine. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.” reads the message published by Fedorov.
Below the list of targets shared on Telegram:
“For all IT specialists from other countries, we translated tasks in English.
Task # 1 We encourage you to use any vectors of cyber and DDoS attacks on these resources.
At this time the Kremlin, State Duma, and Ministry of Defense websites are still offline.
The operations that will be conducted by the IT army will increase the pressure on the Russian infrastructure already the target of a powerful operation launched by Anonymous.
A few hours after the Anonymous collective has called to action against Russia following the illegitimate invasion of Ukraine its members have taken down the website of the Russian propaganda station RT News, yesterday the group compromised the servers of the Russian Defense Ministry.
“Anonymous, a group of hacktivists, successfully hacked and leaked the database of the website of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.” reported the Pravda agency.
The website of the Kremlin (Kremlin.ru) was also unreachable, but it is unclear if it is the result of the Anonymous attack or if the government has taken offline it to prevent disruptive attacks.
The Russian Government’s portal, and the websites of other ministries were running very slow.
The collective is also threatening the Russian Federation and private organizations of attacks, it is a retaliation against Putin’s tyranny.
Two days, Ukraine’s government started asking for volunteers from the hacker underground to provide their support in protecting critical infrastructure and carry out offensive operations against Russian state-sponsored hackers, reported Reuters which cited two e experts involved in the project.
The call for action against Russia was shared on hacker forums on Thursday morning.
The post was written by Yegor Aushev, co-founder of the Ukrainian cybersecurity firm Cyber Unit Technologies. The cybersecurity expert told Reuters he wrote the post at the request of a senior Defense Ministry official who contacted him on Thursday.
“Aushev said the volunteers would be divided into defensive and offensive cyber units. The defensive unit would be employed to defend infrastructure such as power plants and water systems. In a 2015 cyberattack, widely attributed to Russia state hackers, 225,000 Ukrainians lost electricity.” reported the Reuters.
The offensive volunteer unit Aushev said he is organizing would help Ukraine’s military conduct digital espionage operations against invading Russian forces.
A lot of cyber experts are offering their support to Aushev’s initiative.
On the other side, some prominent ransomware gangs seem to be ready to provide their support to Russia. One of these gangs is the Conti ransomware gang, it published the following message on its leak site:
“As a response to Western warmongering and American threats to use cyber warfare against the citizens of Russian Federation, the Conti Team is officially announcing that we will use our full capacity to deliver retaliatory measures in case the Western warmongers attempt to target critical infrastructure in Russia or any Russian-speaking region of the world. We do not ally with any government and we condemn the ongoing war. However, since the West is known to wage its wars primarily by targeting civilians, we will use our resources in order to strike back if the well being and safety of peaceful citizens will be at stake due to American cyber aggression.”
The position of the cybercrime gang is clear.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, SIM swapping)