Diplomacy continues, even as Russia intensifies the brutality of its attacks against civilians. The Telegraph reports that negotiators are considering a fifteen-point plan that would, among other things, require Ukraine's neutralization, but would permit it to maintain a smaller army. It's unclear that the plan would be acceptable to either side.
A faked video appeared yesterday that seemed to show President Zelenskyy asking Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms. According to NPR, the video was crudely prepared, badly lip synced, voice and accent wrong, head not quite matching body, etc., which would make it seem more shallow- than deepfake. It was swiftly debunked, but was nonetheless widely amplified on Vkontakte and other Russian platforms. President Zelenskyy said in response that the only people he'd invited to lay down their arms were Russian soldiers.
Hacktivism and information warfare.
Duo Security has been following what it characterizes as a significant rise in hacktivism during Russia's war against Ukraine. "Volume of activity has spiked," the company writes, "but we’re also observing novel approaches to organizing and attempting to circumvent obstacles. This will likely continue in the coming weeks and months as the war develops."
Some of that novel organization may be found in the hands-on, hands-off approach the Ukrainian government has taken to mobilizing hacktivists. It may also be seen in the work of the hacktivists themselves, who've adopted such techniques as texting Russians with news to counter Kremlin propaganda. Hacktivists have also, the Washington Post reports, turned to such hoary Cold War throwbacks as short-wave radio to get messaging through Moscow's increasingly walled-off Internet.
In general, observers see Ukraine as the clear winner in the war of influence. The Washington Post has an overview of Ukraine's techniques.
Information operations update: "splinernets."
One of the consequences of Russia's disconnection from the Internet (and that disconnection is both self-imposed and a consequence of external sanctions) is the creation of a "splinternet," a process that MIT Technology Review worries might be difficult to reverse.
Russia's creation of its own TLS certificate authority, as it moves to evade the consequences of sanctions, also poses broader security risks. CSO Magazine points out that traffic interception and man-in-the-middle attacks are likely side-effects of the new authority. The risk is principally to Russian Internet users:
Ukrainian ISPs suffer periodic disruption.
Triolan, a major Ukrainian Internet service provider, has faced periodic disruption since the Russian invasion began. CPO Magazine reports that attackers, presumably Russian, had set Triolan internal devices back to factory defaults, which effectively knocked them offline. Other ISPs, including Ukrtelecom have experienced similar service disruptions as recently as last week.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.