Warnings of a cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia over the recent Crimean crisis have been greatly exaggerated. From the start, Russia seems to have relied upon traditional military force and a barrage of old-fashioned “information war” propaganda in its swift takeover of Crimea. Whatever cyber attacks that have occurred so far probably represent the work of Russian or Ukrainian “hacktivists” rather than strategic military strikes, experts say. Russia’s military certainly has the capability to launch strategic cyber attacks. But the Russians have shown restraint so far in the cyberspace realm during their takeover of Crimea and ongoing dispute with Ukraine, says John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit research institute. Similarly, Ukraine has not launched strategic cyber attacks against Russian targets. Instead, groups of hackers on both sides have launched scattered denial-of-service attacks aimed at overloading website servers. Others have defaced government and media websites with the equivalent of digital graffiti and political messages. “We haven’t seen large-scale, strategic cyber attacks against Russia or Ukraine,” Bumgarner says. “The longest duration of the [denial-of-service] attacks that did occur was several hours. Some lasted just a few minutes.” Cyber attacks by suspected pro-Ukrainian hacktivists managed to briefly… Read full this story
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