Ukrainians Commit to Cyber ​​Warfare with Russia CryptoBlog


LONDON (Bywire News) – The fight against Russia is taking place not only on the ground, but also in the digital realm. Luckily for Ukraine, many people work in tech companies around the world and band together to use technology against Russian aggressors.

Among the tactics used are taking down disinformation websites, encouraging Russians to turn against their government and speeding up the delivery of medical supplies. Through email campaigns and online petitions, they will have to persuade companies such as Cloudfare Inc, Google and Amazon to do more to counter the invasion.

“Companies should try to isolate Russia as much as possible, as soon as possible,” said Olexiy Oryeshko, a software engineer at Google and a Ukrainian American.

“Sanctions are not enough,” he added.

He and others like him are responding to a call from Kiev to form a volunteer computer army to fight Russia. Activists like him are calling on companies to do more to counter attacks such as abandoning Russian customers, especially those who publish disinformation.

Igor Seletskiy, chief executive of Palo Alto-based software maker CloudLinux, argued for Cloudflare to drop several Russian news sites.

“Given that even Switzerland took sides, I think it would be a significant statement if Cloudflare did the same,” he wrote in an email to senior executives, with whom he shared.

In response, Cloudfare says it severed relationships with some of its customers due to sanctions and began reviewing accounts flagged in its email. They added that they were proceeding with caution because cutting ties would jeopardize customer safety.

This computer war is taking place on several fronts. Some seek to increase pressure on the country by disrupting the lives of ordinary Russians. An online petition organized by Stas Matviyenko, CEO of restaurant ordering company Allset in Los Angeles, is calling on developers of entertainment, dating or payment apps to block access in Russia.

Meanwhile, big tech companies such as Amazon are being urged to support Ukraine with donations, space on their cargo planes for relief supplies and other measures that could help them in the fight. Amazon declined to comment on those specific suggestions, but said it would donate $10 million to organizations that support Ukraine.

Hacktivists also act directly against the Russian state. Anonymous has been very active and has previously taken down government websites, hacked into state television and revealed communications between Russian forces on their Twitter feed.

Russia itself is feeling the pinch and cracking down on social media sites to control the flow of information into the country. However, this is proving more difficult than they would have hoped, as VPN sales allow restrictions to be circumvented.

If Putin hopes to revive the Cold War, he finds himself in a very different world. Russia – like everyone else – is digitally advanced and connected. This makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks and makes it much more difficult to prevent people from obtaining independent information about current events. As people find ways around social media restrictions, the information and digital wars are ones that may be hard to win.

(Writing by Tom Cropper, editing by Klaudia Fior)

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