Threat Management

Hacktivist cyberattacks amid Russia-Ukraine war setting dangerous precedent

The Register reports that the emergence of hacktivist groups, such as Ukraine IT Army, amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine could establish a dangerous paradigm for cyber norms and infrastructure security. Cyberspace principles established by the U.S., Russia, China, and the U.K. in 2015 have been disregarded since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February and hacktivist activity "is in danger of setting unintended legal and ethical precedents that may create significant political blowback in the future," said journalist and author Kim Zetter, citing Stefan Soesanto of Switzerland's Center for Security Studies, at the Black Hat keynote. Still citing Soesanto, Zetter remarked that the continued existence of hacktivist groups would threaten national security and also increase the vulnerability of civilian infrastructure. "What if a Russian-owned company located in Germany were to organize an offensive bug bounty program that targets Ukrainian critical infrastructure, and shares the discovered vulnerabilities with the Russian intelligence community? Would Berlin, Brussels and Washington deem this acceptable behavior by the private sector?" Zetter noted.

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