Ukraine beating Russia in cyberspace battles, says renowned information security analyst

Renowned information security researcher Thaddeus E Grugq, known as The Grugq, says Ukraine is dominating Russia in the cyber information space.

The threat intelligence and disinformation expert says Russia is losing in cyberspace as Ukraine is "very savvy" with their operations.

"People keep denigrating it as 'that's just because the West is sympathetic' but that is a very shallow dismissive analysis," Grugq wrote on Twitter.

"Ukraine creates complex narratives that resonate with their target audiences. Internally their messaging is very very different from what they share with western audiences. They've managed to thread the needle: the underdog who could lose if our support falters."

That means Russia had failed in cyberspace.

"They were unprepared for a war that didn't have a swift conclusion. Now their available info op resources are greatly reduced and under stress to manage domestic and external messaging."

As an example, he cited a recent counter attack by Russia which said Ukraine wanted to create a dirty bomb, however nuclear reactors are the wrong kind of reactors to do this, he said.

"None of this activity… looks like traditional cyberwar. It is criminals, and Twitter, and disinformation, and no critical national infrastructure committing cyber Pearl Harbor at all," he wrote.

"Outside of the information domain, cyber has been sparse on the ground. Ukraine called for a hacker army. Who knows what they're doing? Anonymous has been claiming the moon and delivering tuppence. That could change though, since cyber is nothing if not surprising."

Meanwhile Ukrainian websites have been under non-stop attack from Russian hackers since the Kremlin launched an invasion of the country last month, Kyiv's cyber watchdog agency said.

In a post to Twitter, Ukraine's State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection said that "Russian hackers keep on attacking Ukrainian information resources nonstop".

The agency said sites belonging to the presidency, parliament, the cabinet, the ministry of defence and the ministry of internal affairs were among those hit by distributed denials of service (DDoS), which work by directing a firehose of traffic towards targeted servers in a bid to knock them offline.

The agency said the sites were so far weathering the storm.

"We will endure! On the battlefields and in cyberspace!" it said.

Russia's foreign ministry could not be reached for comment. In the past, Russia has denied it has been behind cyber attacks, including ones affecting US elections.

Russian sites have also been hammered with DDoS attacks. Ukraine has called on its hacker underground to help protect critical infrastructure and conduct cyber spying missions against Russian troops.

Newshub / Reuters