Ukraine crisis: Russian cyberattacks could affect organisations around the world, so take action now

The ongoing situation in Ukraine means organisations around the world should be prepared to defend their networks against cyberattacks originating from Russia – although the potential impact of aggressive cyber activity shouldn’t be overestimated.

“Concerns are reasonable and valid; Russia has a well-established history of aggressively using their considerable cyber capabilities in Ukraine and abroad,” said Sandra Joyce, executive vice president of global intelligence at cybersecurity company Mandiant, which regularly tracks hostile Russian cyber activity.

Russia is suspected of being behind offensive cyber campaigns against other countries, including cyberattacks against Georgia, as well as attacks that took down Ukrainian power grids in December 2015.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report)

International consensus has also accused the Russian military of being behind the widespread and disruptive NotPetya malware attack of June 2017.

NotPetya was designed to target organisations in the Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors, but powered by EternalBlue – a leaked NSA hacking tool – the self-replicating virus quickly spread to organisations around the world.

It wiped networks and caused what was estimated as billions of dollars in damages as victims across Europe, Asia and the Americas were impacted by a cyberattack that wasn’t directly aimed at them. Mandiant warned

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