(PresidentialInsider.com)- Russia’s offensive strength extends beyond infantry, armor, and air power. Russia’s cyber-warfare skills make it a dangerous enemy, and they have been used against Ukraine.
Despite the devastation, veteran CIA Russia specialist Michael E. van Landingham says Russia’s cyber component hasn’t been as strong or clear as predicted.
Van Landingham cites Russia’s deployment of “many” distributed denial-of-service attacks and “wiper” operations against Ukrainian areas.
However, many feared a cyber Armageddon damaging the US and European systems.
Ukraine barely dodged a significant Russian cyber-attack on its electrical grid last month following Russia’s military expansion in Eastern Europe. As a result of the hack, two million people were left without power.
According to a Microsoft assessment, Russian cyber-attacks regularly followed missile strikes, denying access to essential services and contact with the enemy.
Since the invasion, at least six Russia-aligned nation-state actors have launched over 237 operations against Ukraine, including continuous damaging actions that threaten human welfare.
Widespread espionage and intelligence efforts have accompanied the catastrophic strikes. According to a Microsoft blog, the assaults have harmed Ukraine’s institutions and disrupted residents’ access to trustworthy information and essential life services.
Russian cyber-attacks have remained limited despite these accusations and Ukraine’s acknowledgment of multiple hacks, Russian cyber-attacks have remained limited.
The international hacker organization ‘Anonymous’ has hacked and cyber-attacked Russia to avenge the Ukraine war.
Van Landingham said that Moscow “has various asymmetric capabilities short of nuclear weapons” if it chooses to escalate in reaction to the US and European security help to Ukraine.
Russian intelligence has spent years researching its neighbor’s networks and weaknesses. After Crimea’s takeover in 2014, Russian cyberattacks against Ukraine increased.
Current and former US officials fear a Russian hack on US vital infrastructure might escalate into a conventional offensive.
According to van Landingham, Russia might interfere with or destroy satellites or underwater communications satellites, which are not directly related to cyberspace but assist military and civilian communications.
Last year, President Biden warned Putin that some critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyber-attacks and that the US has its own “significant cyber capability.”
In early March, the US intelligence community designated Russia as a persistent cyber threat.
According to US intelligence agencies, Russia targets vital foreign infrastructures, including undersea communications cables and industrial control systems, to undermine Western economies and civilizations.
Despite this, it has refrained from employing cyberweapons against Western nations, despite many rhetorical threats prompted by their aid to Ukraine.