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Volunteer Hackers Converge on Ukraine Conflict

A Moscow shop displays the plunging exchange rate for the ruble.

Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times

The hackers came from around the world. They knocked Russian and Ukrainian government websites offline, graffitied antiwar messages onto the homepages of Russian media outlets and leaked data from rival hacking operations. And they swarmed into chat rooms, awaiting new instructions and egging one another on.

The war in Ukraine has provoked an onslaught of cyberattacks by apparent volunteers unlike any that security researchers have seen in previous conflicts, creating widespread disruption, confusion and chaos that researchers fear could provoke more serious attacks by nation-state hackers, escalate the war on the ground or harm civilians.

"It is unprecedented," said Matt Olney, director of threat intelligence at security firm Cisco Talos. "This is not going to be solely a conflict among nations. There are going to be participants that are not under the strict control of any government."

From The Seattle Times
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