Again, however, the source of the leak remains unclear. Materials can be purchased from a genuine Russian whistleblower, or have been obtained through a cyber breach. Leaked files – as opposed to hacked machines – only rarely contain clues to allocations. Some of the most consequential computer network breaches can remain secret for years, even decades. Cyberwar is here to stay, but we don’t always know who’s releasing the footage.
Second, cyber operations in wartime are not as useful as bombs and missiles when it comes to inflicting the maximum amount of physical and psychological damage on the enemy. Explosive charges are more likely to create lasting harm than malware.
A similar logic applies to coverage of hostile acts and the psychological harm that media coverage can cause to the public. There is no bigger story than the violent effects of war: victims of missile attacks, families sheltering in the ground, residential buildings and bridges turned to rubble. suck. Meanwhile, the sensational appeal of cyberattacks is significantly lower. In general, they will struggle to jump into the news cycle, their immediate effectiveness is significantly reduced.
We’ve seen these dynamics emerge in Russia’s destructive malware “wipe” attacks on February 23 and 24. Just hours before the invasion began, two attacks. Various networks have attacked Ukrainian targets: HermeticWizard, which affects several organizations, and IsaacWiper, which attacked a Ukrainian government network. A third destructive malware attack discovered on March 14, CaddyWiper, again targeted only a handful of systems in a handful of unidentified Ukrainian organizations. It is unclear whether these wipe-out attacks have any meaningful tactical effect on the victims, and the incidents have never entered the news cycle, especially when compared to Invasion of Ukraine with tanks and artillery.
Finally, if not more deeply integrated into a broader military campaign, the tactical effects of cyberattacks are still rather limited. To date, we have no information about Russian computer network operators integrating and combining their efforts to directly support traditional operations. Russia’s muted performance in the digital sphere most likely reflects its plans and performance on the ground and in the air. Close observers were perplexed by the Russian Army’s inadequate preparation and training, lack of effective combined weapons operations, poor logistics and maintenance, and no proper encryption of communications.
Cyberwarfare has been playing tricks on us for decades – and especially in the past weeks. It continues to the first, over and over, while at the same time sliding away into the future. We’ve been stuck in a loop, bound to repeat the same heated argument, chasing the ghosts of sci-fi.
To strengthen our defenses, we must first recognize cyber activities for what they were, are, and will be: an integral part of 21st-century legislation. Ky has a unique competitive advantage through its vibrant technology and cybersecurity industry. No other country can come close to a U.S. public-private partnership in attributing and countering an adversary’s intelligence activities. These collaborative efforts must continue.