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Ukraine Says Russia Planning ‘Massive Cyberattacks’ on Critical Infrastructure

The Ukrainian government says it is bracing to deal with “massive cyberattacks” from Russian hackers against critical infrastructure targets in the energy sector.

The Ukrainian government says it is bracing to deal with “massive cyberattacks” from Russian hackers against critical infrastructure targets in the energy sector.

In a brief statement released Monday, Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency warned that Kremlin-backed hackers are planning to carry out massive cyberattacks on the critical infrastructure facilities of Ukrainian enterprises.

The agency also accused Russia of planning cyberattacks on critical infrastructure institutions of Ukraine’s allies, primarily Poland and the Baltic States.

“First of all, [the] attacks will be aimed at enterprises in the energy sector. The experience of cyberattacks on Ukraine’s energy systems in 2015 and 2016 will be used when conducting operations,” the defense intelligence agency said.

 Learn more about threats to industrial control systems at SecurityWeek’s 2022 ICS Cyber Security Conference (agenda now available)

Ukraine believes the cyberattacks will look to increase the effect of missile strikes on electricity supply facilities, primarily in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. 

“The Kremlin also intends to increase the intensity of DDoS attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine’s closest allies, primarily Poland and the Baltic states,” the agency added.

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Ever since the war broke out earlier this year, there have been documented research reports on cyberattacks taking aim at critical infrastructure targets.

Multiple enterprise security vendors have documented various aspects of the digital cyberattacks in Ukraine with Microsoft warning of civilian digital targets and Symantec confirming the disk-wiping attacks preceded the Russian invasion. 

The U.S. government’s cybersecurity agency CISA has published indicators of compromise to help threat hunters look for signs of the data-wiping threats in computer networks.

Related: Hacktivist Attacks Show Ease of Hacking Industrial Control Systems

Related: Russia vs Ukraine – The War in Cyberspace

Related: Microsoft, Symantec Share Notes on Russian Hacks Hitting Ukraine

Related: Destructive ‘HermeticWiper’ Malware Hits Computers in Ukraine

Related: Microsoft: Cyberattacks in Ukraine Hitting Civilian Digital Targets

Written By

Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a security community engagement expert who has built programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. Ryan is a founding-director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.

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