When hacking can help.

by | Mar 5, 2022 | News, Security

Ukraine is pretty well known for tech innovation. In fact it was worth $US6.8 Billion last year  Ukraine’s Booming Tech Outsourcing Sector at Risk After Russian Invasion – WSJ.   On top of that ‘legitimate’ work, Ukraine has also been home to some of the eastern-European hacking scams that we’ve seen over recent years.


Normally that hacking would be a bad thing.  But not now.

Right now, the Ukrainian hackers are embroiled In the front lines of the war with Russia.

Hackers and Cyber-experts around the world have joined to defend Ukraine’s IT and attack Russia’s.  From ‘The time is now and the place is here’: Cyber vendors, volunteers rush free security to Ukraine (scmagazine.com)

We wish them well.  I never thought I’d be cheering on hackers, but right now, they are making a difference.

Reuters report they are attacking the railway network of the Russian puppet state Belarus. We know that this country was used to launch troops into the Ukraine so screwing up their logistics can only help.

Ukraine’s ‘IT army’ targets Belarus railway network, Russian GPS | Reuter

They have already caused havoc with the Russian GPS service “GLONASS”– and that has to hurt.

It is part of a call from the Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorovto to create an “IT Army” bringing together resources from as far as Starlink – the Elon Musk project that has also been delivering internet to Tonga in the wake of their volcanic eruption and tsunami recently. There are reported 250,000 hackers in the army now and they’ve turned their attention to the railways and power grids.

EXCLUSIVE Ukraine to seek action against Russia from about 50 gaming, cloud and other tech firms | Reuters

Ukrainian cyber resistance group targets Russian power grid, railways | Reuters

It’s not just individuals and private businesses. Larger players are involved too. Symantec and Sentinel One are cyber firms who are leaning in to support the Ukraine. It was widely reported when SWIFT withdrew from supporting Russian banks for any electronic funds transfers, and that is just the start.

The tech-giants are there too  – from Google blocking access to tools and apps to Russian users, to SAP and Oracle withdrawing from Russia. Microsoft are offering threat detection to help limit the harm the Russian cyber-teams are bringing to the Ukraine and Amazon are offering logistics and cyber-security resources. Andy Jassy on Twitter: “The situation in Ukraine is deeply concerning, and gets more so each day. Amazon stands with the people of Ukraine, and will continue to help. (1/2)” / Twitter

Some smaller software businesses have created a coalition to raise funds for the Ukraine – Ukraine Strong | Tech Coalition For Ukraine. 

Microsoft and Intel have left the Russian market – Microsoft suspends new sales in Russia – Microsoft On the Issues and Intel’s Decades-Old Russian Software Operations Underscore Tough Choices for U.S. Tech Firms — The Information


The new battle front is the digital world.  Let’s hope the internet is resilient enough to support the fight.

Brace for the Russian response

EU Ministers are creating a fighting fund to combat the inevitable Russian response. EU countries call for cybersecurity emergency response fund -document | Reuters  Let’s hope they are successful because so much of what we do here in NZ is reliant on internet services overseas. From banking to trading to research, and especially communications, we’re relying on internet services from all around the world. Let’s just be prepared!