Washington Post: US technology companies helped Ukraine defeat Russian hackers


Washington Post columnist David Ignatius talks about how major American technology companies helped Ukraine repel attacks by Russian hackers. In a column titled “How the vaunted Russian cyber potential was defeated in Ukraine,” he writes about the cooperation of the Silicon Valley giants and the US authorities with Kiev. This is reported by the BBC.

According to Ignatius, Russia tried in every possible way to use its offensive capabilities on the Internet, but “Ukraine, in cooperation with private technology companies, Western intelligence and its own software experts, quickly restored most of the damage caused.”

“The close partnership that has emerged between American technology companies and Western cybersecurity agencies is one of the underestimated aspects of this war,” Ignatius writes. – The rift between private and state structures that occurred after the revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013, apparently, is mostly over. The reason for this is a response to Russia’s aggression against the American presidential elections of 2016 and 2020, and now an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

Among other things, the observer lists such aspects of cooperation between Ukraine, the US government and American technology companies:

· Experts of the American cyber command went to Ukraine a few months before the start of the war. Microsoft and Google started helping Kiev even earlier.

· According to a certain White House official, a Ukrainian hacker turned out to be in the Russian Conti group of Internet scammers, which was engaged in the distribution of “aggressive” software. He “leaked” huge amounts of source code and other data that made it possible to neutralize the attackers.

· Microsoft has spent $239 million on financial and technical assistance to Ukraine. In particular, the company’s experts worked closely with the Ukrainian authorities to identify and prevent potential threats. According to White House officials, in the first days of the war, Microsoft managed to quickly neutralize a Russian hacker program that tried to delete all data on the servers of the Ukrainian government.

· Google has provided more than 200 Ukrainian sites (and another 2.3 thousand sites in 140 countries) with access to the “Project Shield” program, designed to protect against so-called DDOS attacks – when hackers try to “put” this or that Internet server, bombarding it with a huge number of automatic requests.

· Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has given Ukraine many terminals for satellite Internet provided through its Starlink network.

At the same time, as Ignatius notes, it was Ukrainian Internet experts who could play a decisive role in this struggle. “20 years ago, the country was notorious as a hacker center, and it was from there that the first credit card scammers operated,” the observer writes. “But this level of digital development has become the most important advantage of the Ukrainian defense against Russia.”

“The paradoxical benefit of this terrible war was the fact that, given Russia’s dependence on Western technologies (and it extends even to cyber attacks), Ukraine will now be able to adequately respond to the Kremlin for many years. The longer this conflict continues, the less effective the vaunted Russian capabilities in the cyber sphere will become,” Ignatius concludes.

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