The UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD), in its regular situation updates, reports more Ukrainian success and Russian failure: "Ukraine is increasing pressure on Russian forces north-east of Kyiv. Russian forces along this axis are already facing considerable supply and morale issues. Ukrainian forces are carrying out successful counter attacks against Russian positions in towns on the outskirts of the capital, and have probably retaken Makariv and Moschun. There is a realistic possibility that Ukrainian forces are now able to encircle Russian units in Bucha and Irpin."
There are also signs of Russian difficulties in the southern part of Ukraine, where Russia had enjoyed more success than in other areas of operation. The brutal reduction of Mariupol continues, but the city has yet to fall. And the Telegraph reports satellite imagery that suggests Russia has withdrawn its helicopters from the airfield at Kherson, the only Ukrainian city of appreciable size Russia has taken.
Estimates of Russian casualties continue to rise. NATO estimates Russian combat deaths at between 7000 and 15, 000, up from US estimates offered earlier this week.
Concerns persist that President Putin will take his revenge in cyberspace for sanctions.
Large-scale Russian cyberattacks against Western targets haven't so far materialized, but governments aren't prepared to drop their guard. It strikes many policymakers, Newsweek reports, that Russian President Putin may turn to cyberattacks as retaliation for Western sanctions. US Representative Jason Crow (Democrat, Colorado 6th District), a member of the the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, told Newsweek that "[Putin] will use the tools at his disposal to respond, and the biggest one that he has is cyber, so I think we can fully expect that there'll be cyberattacks on the United States and our allies in weeks and months ahead, I think we can expect Putin to come at our financial system and some of our critical infrastructure."
So far the cyberattack that disrupted Viasat service is the one cyber incident that's had significant effects beyond the borders of Ukraine, Wired reports. That attack remains under investigation, and hasn't been definitively attributed to Russia.
France 24 points out another possibility: Russian severing of undersea cables that carry much of the world's Internet traffic.
Russia has not departed from the line it took even before its invasion began. The Russian embassy to the US tweeted a representative statement back on February 18th: "We categorically reject these baseless statements of the administration and note that Russia has nothing to do with the mentioned events and in principle has never conducted and does not conduct any 'malicious' operations in cyberspace."
Wiper attacks reported continuing in Ukraine.
Eric Chien, security threat researcher at Symantec Threat Intelligence, emailed to say that his team is seeing signs that wiper attacks, specifically using variants of HermeticWiper, are continuing against Ukrainian networks: “Very anecdotal and while it hasn't really been in the news because it overall may not be material given the kinetic actions, the actual wiper attacks in Ukraine have not stopped. We just saw a variant of HermeticWiper deployed again yesterday on an organization we saw previously affected. And also on March 14, we saw a variant of HermeticWiper deployed on an organization that we also saw affected on the first day of the war. Communication with organizations in Ukraine is difficult, but our understanding is that for most of these organizations, they are far more impacted by the kinetic effects in their country.”
Russia also sustains cyberattacks.
Anonymous continues its nuisance-level hacktivism, most recently by hijacking printers to publish anti-war messages to Russian audiences. About 160 printers were compromised to send more than 40,000 messages into Russia, according to HackRead.
The IT Army of Ukraine, which is more militia than hacktivist collective, has been operating with more official direction. CNBC puts the total number of members of the IT Army as somewhat more than 311,000. “We want them to go to the Stone Age and we are pretty good at this,” one IT Army member said of the Russian enemy.
The CyberWire's continuing coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine may be found here.