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

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

Organizations that fell victim to NotPetya did so because they hadn’t yet applied critical security updates, which were released months before and were designed to protect networks against EternalBlue.

Meanwhile, cyber criminals and nation state-backed hackers continue to take advantage of security issues like the vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange, which received critical security updates last year but, in many cases, still haven’t been applied by businesses or consumers.

Applying security patches in a timely manner can go a long way to protecting networks and infrastructure against intrusions.

“We are imploring our customers and community to prepare for disruptive and destructive attacks, similar to those that have recently transpired in Ukraine,” said Joyce.

“Many of the same steps defenders might take to harden their networks against ransomware crime will serve to prepare them from a determined state actor – if they take them now”.


Mandiant also warned that part of the strategy behind offensive cyber activity is designed to create worry and uncertainty. By ensuring that networks are as well-defended against attacks as possible, the damage done by attacks can be minimized, avoiding the panic that adversaries hope to generate.

“Cyberattacks can be costly for individual organizations and may even seem frightening to some, but their real target is our perceptions. The purpose of these cyberattacks is not simply to wipe hard drives or turn out the lights, but to frighten those who cannot help but notice,” said Joyce.

“The audience of these attacks is broad, but it is also empowered to determine how effective they are. While these incidents can be quite serious for many, we must remain mindful of their limitations. We only do the adversary a service by overestimating their reach.”

Mandiant’s warning follows a similar warning from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre in January, which urged organizations to take action to bolster their cyber resilience as a result of the ongoing tensions around Russia and Ukraine.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has faced DDoS attacks affecting government services as well as banks, while government websites have been defaced. Nobody has yet explicitly claimed responsibility for the attacks.



Written by Danny Palmer, Senior Reporteron February 16, 2022