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11:51 05 Dec 2022

russia is stepping up its cyberattacks on Ukraine and its allies – Microsoft

The russian federation is intensifying its cyber attacks to exert pressure on the sources of military and political support for Ukraine.

Clint Watts, general manager of Microsoft's digital threat analysis center, stated this in his blog, Bloomberg reports.

Watts urged customers to prepare for new russian cyberattacks in the winter.

"Russian military intelligence actors' recent execution of a ransomware-style attack — known as Prestige — in Poland may be a harbinger of Russia further extending cyberattacks beyond the borders of Ukraine," Watts said.

Along with missile and drone strikes on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, the russian federation is also conducting "complementary" cyber attacks on Ukrainian and foreign supply chains and operations to influence public opinion.

These attacks aim to "undermine US, EU, and NATO political support for Ukraine, and to shake the confidence and determination of Ukrainian citizens."

Watts' blog says that so far, russian operations to provoke public dissent, such as using high energy prices and inflation in Europe, have had limited impact.

At the same time, they "foreshadow what may become broadening tactics during the winter ahead."

According to Watts, russian operatives are trying to spread certain narratives online through state-affiliated media and social media accounts, including trying to undermine the credibility of elected officials and democratic institutions.

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