In this day and age, it is not possible for a war not to spill over to technology. And if the unsaid war is between a former federation and its erstwhile satellite, its obvious that the satellite nation will bear the brunt of an technological and cyber attack. This is what is now happening to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny (SBU) or the Security Service Chief Valentyn Nalivaichenko today told the press gathering that Ukraine is facing a hostile cyber war. He said that most of the mobile phones of members of Ukraine’s Members of Parliament were being attacked for second day in a row.
“I confirm that an IP-telephonic attack is under way on mobile phones of members of Ukrainian parliament for the second day in row,” Valentyn Nalivaichenko told the press, “At the entrance to (telecoms firm) Ukrtelecom in Crimea, illegally and in violation of all commercial contracts, was installed equipment that blocks my phone as well as the phones of other deputies, regardless of their political affiliation,” he said. He further added that “The security services are now seeking to restore at least the security of communications, all state information security systems were unprepared for such a brazen violation of the law.”
It so happens that most of the technology and telecommunications equipments in Ukraine and and in the pro-Russian Crimean region are of Russian make. From Nalivaichenko’s briefing it is apparent that equipment installed within Ukrtelecom networks in the Crimea, which has been manufactured in Russia, is being used to block the mobile telephone services in Ukraine. AFP has further added that Russia forces have also severed internet connections between the Crimean peninsula and the rest of Ukraine. Unconfirmed news reports suggest that unidentified individuals reportedly seized local offices of state-owned telecommunications service provider Ukrtelecom, before cutting phone and Internet cables. This has led to a partial collapse of the mobile services in Ukraine.
Russia has also reportedly sabotaged Ukrainian naval communications stations around the port city of Sevastopol. In a separate incident, two Crimean government web portals were also down but no reason has been assigned for the outage. It is safe to assume that, they may also have been sabotaged.
Earlier on Saturday, pro-European supporters in Ukraine got their pound of flesh by hacking Russia’s largest news website rt.com. The pro European Ukrainian hackers not only managed to access the admin of rt.com, they defaced the website for a short time and managed to change the the headlines of news articles so that references to “Russia” and “Russians” were replaced with the words “Nazi” and “Nazis”.
Cyberwarfare is after all a two way street where but the victim and the perpetrators are hidden behind a thick veil of anonymity.