Russian ‘hacktivists’ are hitting Poland and Nordic and Baltic countries with an arsenal of cyberweapons, analysts say.
Image source: SkyNews
In a report released on Wednesday, the French defense company Thales claimed that Russia was using a variety of cyberweapons against Poland, the Nordic, and Baltic states to create discord and spread anti-war messages.
“These groups of independent, civilian hacktivists have emerged as a new component in the conflict. They can be assimilated to a cybercriminal group with specific political objectives and interests, acting out of conviction, yet not directly sponsored by any government. Members of such groups have a broad array of origins, technical skills and backgrounds,” Thales said in a statement.
According to the research, Russian hackers were responsible for over 60% of all cyberattacks that were detected worldwide.
Russia’s invasion was accompanied by widespread cyberattacks
Nonetheless, Russia’s cyberwar on Ukraine has largely failed and Moscow is increasingly targeting Kyiv’s European allies.
“In the third quarter of 2022, Europe was dragged into a high-intensity hybrid cyberwar at a turning point in the conflict,” said Pierre-Yves Jolivet, Thales vice president for cyber solutions.
Kremlin-aligned groups were increasingly carrying out these attacks, which Thales claimed were more focused on creating chaos than destroying infrastructure.
Sweden, Poland, and Latvia were among the nations that were most impacted. Candidates for European integration Montenegro and Moldova were also on the target list.
In its danger assessment earlier this month, Microsoft noted that Russian agents had launched attacks in at least 17 European nations in the first six weeks of this year, Al Jazeera reports. The attacks were largely aimed at government entities for espionage purposes.
The company claimed that since the start of the conflict, 21% of attacks outside of Ukraine had targeted the United States, demonstrating the reach of Russian agents throughout the globe.
While attacks outside Ukraine were often low-level harassment, Microsoft said Russia may well choose more damaging cyber tools in the future.
“Should Russia suffer more setbacks on the battlefield, Russian actors may seek to expand their targeting of military and humanitarian supply chains by pursuing destructive attacks beyond Ukraine and Poland,” said Microsoft.