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Tag: cybersecurity

Lessons about cyber warfare from Russia’s war against Ukraine

The war in Ukraine serves as a stark reminder of the diverging approaches to establishing red lines in the realm of cyber operations, accentuating the complexities inherent in establishing normative frameworks for governing cyberspace. The intersection of cyber warfare with traditional kinetic conflict further exacerbates the complexities of norm development, underlining the urgent need for sustained efforts to bridge gaps and address grey areas in international law.

In the contemporary landscape of warfare, the lines between traditional kinetic operations and cyber warfare are increasingly blurred. Last year alone, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) thwarted over 4,500 major cyber-attacks. Many of these cyber-attacks were coupled with scores of conventional missile strikes. This underlines the urgent need for international cooperation to confront cyber threats.

June 22, 2024 - Leon Hartwell Maria Branea

The Balkans face a harrowing wake-up call over its fragile cybersecurity

Recent cyber-attacks against institutions throughout the Western Balkans have demonstrated a serious vulnerability that exists throughout the region. As a result, it has become clear that these countries now face a critical choice – either prioritise investments in the development and enhancement of cyber capacities or face much harsher consequences.

On a seemingly ordinary February day, the tranquillity of North Macedonia and its citizens was shattered, as the country fell victim to a harrowing cyber-attack which struck at the heart of its state-run Health Insurance Fund. The attack, for which authorities have yet to name a culprit, rippled through the healthcare system, plunging insured individuals into a state of vulnerability, devoid of vital medicine, while also leaving health workers without their hard-earned salaries.

July 4, 2023 - Bojan Stojkovski

To war or not to war? Russia’s cyber strategies in Ukraine 2014-22

Had Moscow used cyber operations to substitute kinetic operations in February 2022, we would have seen a full-blown cyber war instead of a conventional invasion. In fact, the consequences of the pre-war period were modest and most of the actions taken seemed to be rushed or poorly planned. Russia failed to achieve its strategic objectives using cyber operations and the Kremlin concluded that its only option was to launch a military campaign.

At the 2013 meeting of senior Russian and American defence officials, General Nikolai Makarov ridiculed the lack of information warfare in the US Cyber Command’s (USCYBERCOM) mission. In his provocative speech he told his counterparts, “one uses information to destroy nations, not networks” and taunted that the omission of information warfare proves the Americans’ ignorance. That was also a clear message about Russian priorities for cyberspace, which were later reflected in Russian strategic documents and also applied in Ukraine in 2022.

February 15, 2023 - Błażej Sajduk Dominika Dziwisz

The threat of digital surveillance

Surveillance is nothing new when it comes to authoritarian regimes as it has always been a tool to keep control and maintain order. The rise of digital technologies, however, has made it easier for regimes to monitor and control their populations. But it is not only autocratic governments which have adopted these technologies, adding to the risk of the decline of democracy and freedom.

In July 2021 the international investigative journalist collective known as the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, or OCCRP, revealed that governments around the world – mostly autocratic – were using special highly sophisticated software to spy on journalists, human rights activists, diplomats, politicians and even government officials. The investigation, titled the Pegasus Project, analysed a list of 50,000 phone numbers which was attained by Amnesty International.

February 15, 2023 - Adam Reichardt

Moldova is being forced to adapt to hybrid warfare

Russia’s war against Ukraine proved to the world that battles do not happen only on the ground; they are also taking place online. After Russia’s invasion on February 24th, its neighbours, including Moldova, began facing many challenges: an economic crisis, a refugee influx, an energy crisis and even cyber-attacks.

The date of February 24th 2022 completely changed the life of the whole world, and definitely changed Moldova. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is spreading to this neighbouring country, even though direct attacks are not yet happening. The war in Ukraine has affected all processes in Moldova, especially in the economic sphere, and includes: increased inflation, disruption of all supply chains, the energy crisis, disinformation, propaganda, instability in society and above all, challenges to cybersecurity.

February 15, 2023 - Marina Bzovîi

Russia is investing a lot of money in its cybernetic systems and agency networks

Ukraine has found itself on the frontline of Russia’s growing cyber strategy over the past decade. Other states in the region must now learn from Kyiv’s experiences in order to develop an effective response to such actions.

February 18, 2022 - Artem Oliinyk Mykola Volkivskyi Yuri Vanetik

Understanding the silent war

It is important to understand the philosophy behind Russia’s cyber capabilities since eastern and western actors have a different outlook. Cyber operations conducted from the West are government and military affiliated, while in the East they are mostly non-state players. The point is to have no proven link to a governmental entity allowing for plausible deniability.

I have been researching Russian cyber warfare and intelligence capabilities for more than a decade, and for all that time its significance and soft power was underestimated in Georgia. In order to assess the nature of ongoing Russian cyber operations against Georgia, we should start with the basics to better understand the role of cyber-security in today's global security environment. For decades, the world’s most harmful threats were radical groups, terrorists and criminal organisations, intelligence agencies and military regimes.

July 7, 2020 - Lasha Pataraia

E-voting: securing the franchise Estonian-style

Could e-voting be the answer to the challenges brought on by the pandemic and foreign interference in elections? Estonia with its approach to digital solutions could provide a useful blueprint.

July 1, 2020 - Samuel Kramer

The future of information security and data privacy in Georgia

Interview with Hatia Jinjikhadze, Deputy Director at the Open Society Georgia Foundation. Interviewer: Mackenzie Baldinger.

May 18, 2020 - Hatia Jinjikhadze Mackenzie Baldinger

Cybersecurity Challenge PL2020 winners announced

The Bridge Foundation, organiser of the Cybersecurity Challenge PL2020 has announced the winners of the tournament. They represent four Polish voivodeships: Cyber Boat (Łódź), Cyber Power (Opole), 3 City Security (Pomerania) and Cyber Pyrki (Greater Poland).

April 30, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

Don’t Click on Sh*t! – Be aware, click with care!

COVID-19 online scams are spreading faster than the virus through malicious emails, websites and SMS text messages.

April 3, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

The role of a journalist in the age of disinformation

Information aggressors, especially the Russian Federation, are not “reinventing the wheel”. They use existing mechanisms. Journalists and the media, regardless of the provenance, are the first on the “information front” in the war over people’s hearts and minds. They have a choice: ignore or refute this fact or accept their role as a key element in state security and the information space.

The Russian aggression against Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 introduced a new type of warfare which has proved very effective in the digital era. This new type of war is no longer aimed at taking over territories or resources, but rather influencing human behaviour. It involves non-kinetic activities, which are undertaken in cyber space and are cheaper than traditional methods, but – most importantly – more effective when applied towards western societies which are largely unprepared for this kind of hostile actions.

January 27, 2020 - Adam Lelonek

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