Russia has some of the best hackers in the world, but in the early days of the war in Ukraine, its ability to create mayhem through malware hasn’t had much of a noticeable impact.
Instead, it is Ukraine that has marshaled sympathetic volunteer hackers in an unprecedented collective global effort to make the Kremlin pay for making war on its neighbor. It’s a kind of cyber free-for-all that experts say risks escalating a moment already fraught with extraordinary danger after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on alert.
The kind of devastating cyberattacks thought likely to accompany a large-scale Russian military invasion haven’t happened.
Michael Daniel, a former White House cybersecurity coordinator said, “It has not played as large a component as some people thought it might and it definitely has not been seen outside of Ukraine to the extent that people feared.”
While it still is not totally clear by Russia hasn't been able to make a bigger impact in their cyber warfare efforts on Ukraine so far, Ukraine's industrial infrastructure is not heavily reliant on a digital component as in the case in Western countries, so this may be a factor, as the Associated Press reports.
A volunteer group that has labeled itself the IT Army of Ukraine, with over 230,000 followers on their Telegram channel, has been listing Russian targets to hit back at, like banks and Russian cryptocurrency exchanges.