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Russia Uses Cyberattacks in Ukraine to Support Military Strikes, Report Finds


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Wednesday.

According to a new report from Microsoft, Russia used hackers to conduct hundreds of subtle cyberattacks in Ukraine, many timed to coincide with incoming missile or ground attacks.

Credit: Alexandr Demyanchuk/EPA/Sputnik

For weeks after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, American officials wondered about the weapon that seemed to be missing: Russia's mighty cyberarsenal, which most experts expected would be used in the opening hours of an invasion to bring down Ukraine's power grid, fry its cellphone system and cut off President Volodymyr Zelensky from the world.

None of that happened. But in a new study released Wednesday by Microsoft, it is now clear that Russia used its A-team of hackers to conduct hundreds of far more subtle attacks, many timed to coincide with incoming missile or ground attacks. And it turned out that, just as in the ground war, the Russians were less skillful, and the Ukrainians were better defenders, than most experts expected.

"They brought destructive efforts, they brought espionage efforts, they brought all their best actors to focus on this," said Tom Burt, who oversees Microsoft's investigations into the biggest and most complex cyberattacks that are visible through its global networks. But he also noted that while "they had some success," the Russians were met with a robust defense from the Ukrainians that blocked some of the online attacks.

From The New York Times
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