Ukraine took advantage of offensive US cyber operations against Russia

The head of US Cyber ​​Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) said the United States conducted offensive cyber operations to support Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion.

Preventive hacking

army general Paul Nakason, who heads both Cyber ​​Command and the NSA, told Sky News in an exclusive interview that US cyber operators were being proactive, carrying out “hunt ahead” operations to seek out foreign hackers before they can’t target the United States.

Nakasone said the design of operations was to target and neutralize Russian propaganda, particularly its disinformation programs that could influence the election. Russia has traditionally targeted its disinformation programs to divide Americans along party lines by using “troll farms” that spread their propaganda disguised as American bloggers.

“We had the opportunity to start talking about what the Russians in particular were trying to do in our midterm elections,” Nakasone said in the interview. “We saw it again in 2020, when we were talking about what the Russians and the Iranians were going to do, but it was on a smaller scale.

“The ability for us to share this information, to be able to ensure that it is accurate, timely and actionable on a larger scale has been very, very powerful in this crisis,” he said.

Admissions and Bold Actions

Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware, called Nakasone’s admission “historic”, explaining that while Russia has been targeting the United States for nearly a decade, until now the United States United did not respond.

Since 2013the Russians have led an insurgency in American cyberspace and our retaliation and disruption has been mitigated,” Kellermann told The Register.

“The paradigm has changed because Russia has to play defense now,” he continued. “The United States is harnessing the formidable capabilities of Cyber ​​Command against rogue nation states. Cyberspace is a new domain for warfare.

Fears Russia will respond to sanctions with cyber actions

US officials and analysts feared that Russia would decide to target the United States and other Western allies with cyberattacks after imposing crippling sanctions on Russia and many oligarchs who support Vladimir Putin.

Why this didn’t happen opened up a range of theories. The most rumored is that Moscow may not want to escalate the situation any further, especially with them having their hands full with fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Others believe that the Russian military – not knowing the full extent of US cyber command – might fear that a US attack could counter its command and control of the Ukrainian invasion. This is a real concern, given that the war has been micromanaged from Moscow since the invasion began in late February.

Frontline Cyber ​​Command

Nakasone’s interview is a very rare glimpse into what Cyber ​​Command can do operationally. Its operations are still unprecedented, but the command, created in 2010, has gained in capacity. CNN reported that the command sent teams of personnel to Ukraine before the invasion to help the Ukrainians protect their cyber defenses and warn them of possible hacking operations.

“We conducted a series of operations across the spectrum: offensive, defensive and information operations,” Nakasone said. Without discussing the details of the operation’s methods and tactics, he was adamant that the actions were legal, with civilian oversight monitoring the military operations.

“My job is to provide a series of options to the secretary of defense and the president, and so that’s what I do,” he added in his interview. But just because the Russians haven’t yet attempted to carry out offensive cyberattacks against the United States doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

The the wall street journal reported that FBI Director Christopher Wray told a cyber conference held at Boston College that there was evidence that Moscow was preparing for offensive cyber operations.

“We have seen the Russian government take specific preparatory measures for potential destructive attacks, here and abroad,” Wray said.

Steve Balestrieri is a national security columnist from 1945. He served as a non-commissioned officer and warrant officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces before injuries forced him into early separation. In addition to writing for and other military news agencies, it has

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