The director of the US National Security Agency, the head of the US cyber command, General Paul Nakasone told Sky News that US military hackers were conducting operations against Russia.
Nakasone confirmed for the first time that the United States was conducting “offensive hacking operations” in support of Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion. “We have conducted a series of operations across the spectrum: offensive, defense and information operations,” he said.
Nakasone said that in some operations, the United States detected foreign hackers and identified their tools before using them to attack America. Regarding the risk of Russian cyberattacks on the United States, he said: “We remain vigilant every day. Every day. I think about it all the time. ”
Paul Nacasone declined to elaborate on the details of the cyberattacks, but said they were carried out legally, in accordance with Pentagon policies and under civilian surveillance. “My job is to provide a number of options for the Minister of Defense and the President, which I do,” he added.
Earlier, Microsoft said that the hacking group Strontium (Fancy Bear or APT28), linked to Russia’s Central Intelligence Agency, had attacked organizations in Ukraine, the European Union and the United States. The company also said that before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, at least six hacker groups linked to Russia carried out 237 cyberattacks against Ukrainian companies and government agencies. Microsoft has said that Russian cyberattacks on Ukrainian institutions, which are crucial for the civilian population, are often linked to the Russian military offensive.
We will remind, on April 4 the Security Service of Ukraine reported that special services of Russia planned to destroy all cyber defense of Ukraine: on the night of February 24 the largest number of hacker attacks on the Ukrainian systems is recorded. The government’s Computer Emergency Response Team CERT-UA reported that during the first month of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, it recorded 198 cyberattacks on Ukraine’s public sector by Russian and Belarusian hackers. On April 26, the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine announced that Russian hackers were carrying out more and more cyberattacks against ordinary Ukrainians, and that the number of information and psychological operations on social networks and messengers was growing. Hackers often speculate on patriotic issues and payments from the state. For example, on Facebook, the attackers launched a fraudulent scheme: they offer Ukrainians 8,900 hryvnias of “EU assistance” for the polls. The swindlers also created a fake chatbot of the state platform “Action”, which offers to “receive 3,000 hryvnias of financial support from the state.”