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Will Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Trigger a Cyberwar?

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A part of the flag of Ukraine, made from stylized computer code.

Part of the risk is not from a direct Russian attack on IT infrastructure outside, but instead from a potential attack on Ukrainian IT affecting Western businesses. One in five Fortune 500 companies rely on Ukraine’s IT outsourcing sector, according

Credit: Gwengoat/Getty Images

Tensions continue to rise between Russia and the West, as Russian president Vladimir Putin mobilizes his troops on the border of Ukraine, but in 2022 wars aren't only fought on a physical battlefield. Russia, Ukraine, and the latter's Western allies have all built up the capability to launch huge state-sponsored cyberattacks. Are we lurching towards the world's biggest cyberwar?

Western authorities certainly seem fearful of potential cyberattacks. The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center warned organizations to improve their cyber defenses on February 22, though declined to elaborate further when asked by New Scientist.

There are similar warnings in the U.S. On February 16, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned companies that provide services to U.S. armed forces to be on the lookout for an increased number of attempts to break into their IT systems. That followed a January 23 memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning that "Russia maintains a range of offensive cyber tools that it could employ against US networks." In early February, the European Central Bank also warned against cyberattacks.

From New Scientist
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