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Russia or Ukraine: whose side are hackers on?

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several hacker groups have publicly indicated their support for one belligerent or the other.

Since Russia launched a major military offensive against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, several ransomware gangs and hacker groups have announced on social networks their allegiance to one side or the other. Some of these statements were also accompanied by explicit threats.

On Ukraine side, Anonymous has declared itself “officially in cyber war against the Russian government,” and GhostSec has announced its support for Ukraine. The former has already targeted the RT television channel and put online 200 GB of data related to the Russian and Belarusian armies.

On the Russian side, the Conti ransomware gang gave its full support to the Kremlin, stating: “If anybody will decide to organize a cyberattack or any war activities against Russia, we are going to use all our possible resources to strike back at the critical infrastructures of an enemy.” The Red Bandits and CoomingProject have also publicly announced their willingness to stand with Russia in the cyberwar.

The Belarusian group UNC1151 has reportedly started to compromise email accounts of Ukrainian military personnel. The Russian-sponsored SandWorm group (and its Cyclops Blink malware) may also be moving into action soon.

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