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US News: Cyberattack against Ukraine: "It takes a survey and time"

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  Cyberattaque contre l’Ukraine : « Il faut une enquête et du temps » © Vincent Voegtlin / Maxpp / Photopqr / Alsace / Maxppp

L E 14 January 2022, the Ukraine was victim of An cyberattack that has targeted several government sites. This attack occurs in a context of very strong tensions between Ukraine and Russia: several thousand Russian soldiers have been deployed along the Ukrainian border . While the Ukrainian authorities claim to have "evidence" of the involvement of the Russia in this attack, the Kremlin replies that these accusations are "free". The CESDIP * Daniel Belly calls for caution when we designate those responsible: "The situation of cyberattacks against Ukraine is particular because there are tensions with Russia, but it is important to ask. If attacks are directly related to this context.

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even before being able to designate a manager, the first question to ask, according to him, is that of the nature of the attack. It took place on devices using an operating system by Microsoft , which hastened to update its antivirus. According to the computer giant , the malware used during attacks "is made to look like a ransomware [ransom software, NDLR], but without the data backup system. It is therefore intended to be "destructive and to make the systems interested inoperable", rather than recovering money in exchange for data that it has not stored anyway. While the Ukrainian authorities say they have not suffered significant damages, Microsoft alerts all the same that these actions generate "a high risk for any government agency, association or undertaking in Ukraine".

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Those who advance on the manager really have the elements to assert it? Daniel Belle

Once the nature of the attack determined, one can try to identify the culprit. Yet Daniel Belle wishes to warn against easy and proof accusations. "Cyberattacks, there are every day, practically in continuous flow, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere. When one is in a confrontation ground, it can be simpler a priori, when a state is attacked, to point the opposite camp finger. But there may be other categories of attacks.

thus, other authors that Russia are conceivable. These could be simple cybercriminals. "And even though it would be Prorusian actors, they can be Russian, non-Russian, Ukrainian or non-Ukrainian". But the attribution of this kind of attack always takes time. "For example, it is only in 2020 that the US Department of Justice finally appoints Russian officers as responsible for Operation NotPetya of 2017", an attack that had been victims of several European companies, but also and especially Ukrainian and Russians. NATO affirmed its next cooperation with Ukraine against cyberattacks, which will probably consist of supporting the culprit.

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The difficulty of identifying a manager when one is an external observer

Daniel belly Adds that an immediate reaction is difficult because "we are external actors . We do not have access to the raw data, and those who have access to the data can also build stories without the opportunity to contradict them or propose others ". This makes the suppositions even more hazardous because "it is always several stories, several actions, several actors and several phenomena that can be involved in parallel at several moments. One can see state actions, indoor or exterior criminals, and all sometimes at the same time. Finally, the researcher calls for a last precaution: "We must not forget that Ukraine is a victim of attacks, but it also has its own criminal actors, as in Russia or elsewhere. The landscape is very complex. »

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