Russia’s Use Of Cyberattacks: Lessons From The Second Ukraine War – Analysis
Russia, probably more than any other leading power, launches cyberattacks against other countries as a matter of routine. Sometimes, Russian cyberattacks accompany military action, as in the current war in Ukraine. At other times, Moscow uses cyberattacks to disrupt or weaken societies, for instance during the 2016 US Presidential election. Russia also uses its formidable cyber arsenal to threaten governments in response to a specific event, for instance when Finland welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak at its parliament in April. What do Russian actions during the Second Ukraine War (which started in February 2022) reveal about Moscow’s approach to cyberattacks? Do officials in the Kremlin think about cyber activities differently in wartime versus peacetime? What might these differences say about Russia’s vaunted cyber arsenal going forward? Russian cyberattacks during wartime are more frequent than during peacetime and more targeted toward critical infrastructure. However, Russian cyberattacks are otherwise similar to cyber attacks launched at other times, varying primarily in their intensity.