On Tuesday, Russian authorities couldn’t have been available for comment. Moscow has always rejected allegations that it carried out cyberattacks on Ukraine. Russia invades yet again Ukraine.
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) claimed in a report that the hackers attacked systems controlling high voltage substations in Ukraine that belonged to an energy firm that the CERT-UA did not reveal.
ESET, a Slovakian cybersecurity firm that said it collaborated with Ukraine to stop the assault, identified the virus as an improved version of the software that caused power outages in Kyiv in 2016.
One piece of malware was used to take over computer systems at the energy supplier “in order to cut electricity,” while a second software was used to wipe away data in order to stymie efforts to restore power.
A former head of the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, claimed the incident was consistent with prior Russian hacking operations. However, Ukraine blames Russia for the recent Cyberattacks.
“This is the sort of operation Russia carried out on more than one occasion between the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the full invasion this year,” Martin stated in a text message. “It’s just a more rushed version and, it seems, an entirely unsuccessful one thanks in part to excellent cyber defense work.”
Ukraine’s defenses were complimented by John Hultquist, VP of intelligence at cybersecurity firm Mandiant.
“Any move by Ukraine to stop a major attack like this, given the circumstances, is an outstanding success. The fact that they’re still defending their networks under these conditions is incredible,” Hultquist stated.
The attack “would have added to the enormous suffering that Ukrainians are already enduring” if it had gone according to plan, Hultquist said.
He further added, “Sandworm is an apex predator, capable of serious operations, but they aren’t infallible,”.
“It’s increasingly clear that one of the reasons attacks in Ukraine have been moderated is because defenders there are very aggressive and very good at confronting Russian actors.”
What comes next for Ukraine and Russia, time will tell.