A report released by Microsoft reveals that state-sponsored hackers in Russia carried out several cyber operations to support the country's military attacks against Ukraine and spread online propaganda. It is alleged the measures have played a key role in the war.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and the conflict is still ongoing for the third month in a row. Microsoft states the digital onslaught started nearly a year before to build the groundwork for military missions in Ukraine.
About three dozen destructive cyberattacks were noticed from the beginning of the invasion and until April 8, adds Microsoft.
Experts said the report reveals that Russian spies and generals considered cyberattacks as part of their effort in the conflict with Ukraine.
Microsoft published a timeline of the cyberattacks. An example of coordination is March 1 when a Russian missile attacked a TV tower in the capital city Kyiv and simultaneously the media companies were hit by cyberattacks.
Another example is the lurking by Russian actors on the critical infrastructure in Ukraine's city Sumy and about two years later, on March 3, a widespread shortageof electricity were reported.
Similarly, The cyber hackers broke into the network of the Ukrainian government on March 4 in Vinnytsia city and on March 6 the missiles leveled its airport.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian cybersecurity officials said the Russian cyberattacks have been noticed on energy grid operators and local telecom companies and it is believed more such attacks could be on the card.
Adding further, Victor Zhora said the Russian cyber hackers should not be underestimated and simultaneously not over-estimated too. He thanked Microsoft for the cybersecurity support to his government.
The Microsoft report has turned the earlier views of analysts and academics untrue as it was initially believed Russia is using fewer cyberattacks against Ukraine.
Russia is now being considered highly dangerous with respect to cyberattacks.