While Russia has cracked down several hacking groups and darknet forums within its borders prior to invading Ukraine last February, it has since leveraged existing systematic relationships with threat actors to strengthen its cyber and information operations against Ukraine, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has prompted changes to pro-Russian hackers' techniques, including the transition to commodity malware in Russian forums rather than custom payloads in an effort to avert attack attribution, a report from Recorded Future revealed. Information stolen by Russian cybercrime groups from Ukrainian targets are also being leveraged to facilitate long-term information or espionage campaigns. Pro-Russian hacktivist groups, which were found to be linked to the Russian government, have also committed to launch cyberattacks against Ukraine and its allies amid the ongoing conflict, and such a tactic will only continue, researchers said. "This provides a veneer of plausible deniability for Russia in these operations, enabling the Russian government to subvert claims of state-sponsored attacks against Western entities," said researchers.