Research questions potentially dangerous implications of Ukraine's IT Army

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Jun 22, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

The European Union and NATO are not fully grappling with the potential consequences of Ukraine’s IT Army, a volunteer group that executes cyberattacks on Russian targets, a Center for Security Studies researcher argued Wednesday.

Stefan Soesanto, a senior researcher with the Zurich-based think tank with previous positions at the European Council on Foreign Relations and RAND’s Brussels office, wrote in a 32-page paper that the public side of the IT Army serves as a “vessel” for volunteer distributed denial-of-service attacks on Russian government and private company websites. Such attacks flood a website with fake traffic to knock it offline.

A non-public “in-house team likely maintains deep links to — or largely consists of — the Ukrainian defense and intelligence services,” he said.

Taken together, the conduct of “both Kyiv and the Ukrainian IT community at large … has collapsed entire pillars of existing legal frameworks regarding norms and rules for state behaviour in cyberspace and has taken apart the illusion of separating the defense of Ukraine from Ukrainian companies and citizen[s] living abroad.”

Western governments treat the IT Army as a “collection of random volunteers conducting meaningless DDoS attacks against Russian

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