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Ukraine says fighting world's first 'hybrid war'

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The Ukrainian government has revealed that it is fighting a ‘hybrid war’ where Russia-backed threat actors are hitting their internet networks while their armies are attacking physical infrastructure on the ground.

The country’s cyber-security authority said its cyber defences are repelling most hacking attacks, adding that the cyber-war with Russia was unprecedented, the BBC reported.

“These two wars (we are fighting) are part of this hybrid war. This is happening for the first time in history and I believe that cyber war can only be ended with the end of conventional war, and we will do everything we can to bring this moment closer,” said Viktor Zhora, Deputy Chairman of the State Service of Special Communications, during a press conference.

He added that his cyber security teams have been working to defend critical Ukrainian web services successfully.

“We are not afraid of Russian attacks” on power grids or nuclear sites, he said.

Since the Russian invasion began, the country has launched an “IT army of Ukraine”, which has been carrying out cyber attacks on Russian targets.

The Telegram group for the organisation now has 2,70,000 members. However, the Ministry estimates that there could be as many as 4,00,000 hackers fighting online for Ukraine.

“We call it cyber-resistance and we’re doing everything possible to protect our land and cyberspace. We are trying to protect our networks and make the aggressor feel uncomfortable with its actions in cyberspace and on Ukrainian land,” Zhora added.

The cyber war between Russia and Ukraine has intensified, with Russia using a new destructive malware to permanently destroy data on systems belonging to Ukrainian organisations.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to hacking groups increasing their activities globally.

While Russia-backed hackers have already hit several Ukrainian government websites and banks, a leading hacking group, Anonymous has declared itself aligned with “Western allies”, targeting operations in Russia.

“The Anonymous collective is officially in cyber war against the Russian government,” the hacking group tweeted.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its 12th day amid widespread cyber attacks, the citizens have turned to encrypted communication apps, offline maps and Twitter to keep abreast with latest news and connect with friends and families.

Since Russia has locked down access to news and social media, demand for VPN apps has also grown.

–IANS

na/khz/arm

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