US President Brad Smith said on Thursday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the first “great hybrid war” ever. He stated that the “first missiles” of the war in Ukraine were launched into cyberspace as Russian intelligence launched a malware attack on key Ukrainian government sites hours before the military offensive began.
Brad Smith, President of the US Microsoft Corporation, said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the first dangerous hybrid war in history, because the cyber attack, which targeted more than 300 targets related to the Ukrainian government, was coordinated with a military attack. Thursday by The Guardian newspaper.
Smith said “the first missiles of the Ukrainian war were launched into cyberspace” when Russian intelligence launched a malware attack on key Ukrainian government sites hours before the military offensive began.
It is unclear how severe the impact of this cyber attack will be, but the head of Microsoft believes that Russia “targeted its cyber attacks more precisely before and during the war” that broke out on February 24.
Russian cyber attacks on Ukraine
“Cyber operations evolve during conflict,” Smith said. “It started with a wave of State Department attacks aimed at waging psychological warfare against the Ukrainians and convincing them that they had no chance of winning.”
According to him, when the war broke out, the strategy of cyber attack began to rely on careful targeting of many important Ukrainian sectors. “Then the Russians began to combine conventional and cyber attacks, implying a new form of amphibious warfare in cyberspace,” – said the head of Microsoft.
Smith said that since the beginning of the conflict, there have been “40 different waves of devastating cyberattacks” against hundreds of different targets in Ukraine. “We watched the Russians go from destroying the nuclear power plant network to attacking the plant in a matter of days,” added the Microsoft chief, whose words, according to the Guardian, referred to the activities at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. It was captured by Russian forces in March.
Brad Smith said the company he heads is committed to helping Ukraine by providing millions of dollars in free services. He added that a week before the war began, the company helped 16 of 17 Ukrainian ministries move from physical servers in government buildings to remote cloud servers to survive the bombing.
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