Russia mounted a pre-dawn invasion of Ukraine from both its own and Belarusian territory this morning. President Putin says he intends to "demilitarize" and "denazify" Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says Ukraine will fight.
The US had warned yesterday, continuing its recent policy of unusual transparency with respect to intelligence products, that a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine was expected within forty-eight hours. It came in less than twenty four.
US President Biden condemned the Russian attack and expressed his solidarity with President Zelenskyy. The US is expected to announce more sanctions against Russia and perhaps additional support to Ukraine perhaps as early as noon today.
Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said yesterday that yesterday afternoon large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks began against Ukrainian banks and government websites. ESET says its researchers found a wiper deployed against Ukrainian targets about two hours after the DDoS attacks began. ESET is calling, for convenience, the destructive malware "HermeticWiper," as it was signed with a certificate from the Cypriot company Hermetica Digital. Reuters says it's been unable to find out very much about Hermetica Digital, beyond its apparent founding a year or so ago. SentinelOne has also confirmed that HermeticWiper is in active use. Reuters also reports that Symantec has said the attack has also had some effects in Latvia and Lithuania.
The threat is not only a terrestrial one. Breaking Defense reports that Chris Scolese, director of the National Reconnaissance Office, said yesterday:
“I think it’s fair to assume that, to the extent that [Russia] can, and to the extent that they feel it won’t extend the conflict out of their control, they will extend it into space. How they’re going to do that? What they’re going to do? I mean, you could imagine they’re already doing GPS jamming, as an example, and doing things against Ukraine. I would say for everybody that the important thing is to go off and make sure that your systems are secure and that you’re watching them very closely, because we know that the Russians are effective cyber actors,” he said, adding that “it’s better to be prepared than to be surprised.”
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here. And, as a sector, let us spare a thought for colleagues in beleaguered Ukraine. We received an email this morning from MacPaw, whose Mac cleaner you may know. They're based in Kyiv, and for now at least, they're safe and riding out the invasion in place. Take care of yourselves, MacPaw.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.