Ukraine launches ‘computer army’ and targets Russian cyberspace

3D printed models of people working on computers and padlocks are seen in front of CYBER SECURITY words and binary code displayed in this illustration taken February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Ukraine will create an “IT army” to fight Russian digital intrusions, Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on Saturday.

Ukraine has called in its underground hacker to help protect critical infrastructure and carry out cyber espionage missions against Russian troops, Reuters exclusively reported last week. Read more

“We are creating an IT army,” Fedorov wrote in a Tweet linked to a channel on the Telegram messaging app which posted a list of prominent Russian websites.

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“There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the cyber specialist channel,”

The Telegram channel listed the websites of 31 major Russian companies and state organizations, including energy giant Gazprom (ELGZI.MM), Russia’s second largest oil producer Lukoil, three banks and a handful of government websites .

Kremlin.ru, the official website of the Kremlin and the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taken offline on Saturday in an apparent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Read more

Data-erasing malware was circulating in Ukraine last week, hitting hundreds of computers, according to researchers from cybersecurity firm ESET. Read more

Suspicion has fallen on Russia, which has been repeatedly accused of hacking Ukraine and other countries. Among the victims were government agencies and a financial institution.

Britain and the US say Russian military hackers were behind a series of DDoS attacks last week that briefly took Ukrainian banking and government websites offline before the invasion Russian. Read more

Russia has denied the allegations.

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Reporting by James Pearson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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