Twitter is part of our war effort – Ukraine minister

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Publication Date March 2022
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As Ukraine's military and citizens battle Russia's advancing troops, the country has opened a new front in the fighting - using tech expertise to rally Silicon Valley's support and undermine the enemy.  Digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov is leading the charge, but some of his tactics are proving divisive.

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From his underground shelter in a secret location in Kyiv, Ukraine's youngest cabinet minister is waging a digital war on Russia.  Using his preferred weapon - social media - Mykhailo Fedorov has been urging chief executives of big businesses to cut ties with Moscow. He's also taken the unprecedented move of setting up a volunteer "IT Army of Ukraine" to launch cyber-attacks against "the enemy".  So far the hacking seems to be mostly low-level cyber vandalism but Fedorov's team is also explicitly calling for attacks on railway and power grid networks which, if successful and disruptive enough, could cause harm to civilians. It makes some in the cyber-security world anxious.

On Friday Ukraine's deputy chairman of the State Service of Special Communications, which works closely with Fedorov's department, defended the decision to rally hackers against Russia.  He said he welcomed illegal cyber-attacks on Russia from all groups, including the Anonymous hacking collective, because "the world order changed on 24 February" when the invasion started.

Hacking is also being carried out against Ukraine by people sympathetic to Russia, but currently Russia seems to be coming off worse. Its crack military hackers appear, so far, to have not played a major role, for reasons that are unclear.

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BBC: 07/03/2022: Ukraine says it is fighting first 'hybrid war'
Metro: 07/03/2022: Anonymous hacks Russian streaming services to broadcast footage of the war
The Guardian: 07/03/2022: Anonymous: the hacker collective that has declared cyberwar on Russia
The Independent: 05/03/2022: Ukraine cyber official: We only attack military targets
The Independent: 24/02/2022: Ukraine government websites downed by cyberattacks amid Russian invasion

SSSCIP: 06/03/2022: The war continues not only on land, in the air and at sea. Cyberspace has also become an arena for hostilities.
SSSCIP: 31/01/2022: The EU is ready to support Ukraine in developing cyber protection capacities

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CEPA: 2022: Avoid tech regulation that opens the door for Russian cyberattacks

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