Ukraine is enlisting volunteer hackers to build an “IT army” f security experts and hackers to launch cyberattacks on thirty-one Russian targets, including essential infrastructure, government agencies, and banks. Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhaylo Fedorov, said on Saturday afternoon that an “IT Army” of volunteer “digital talents” is needed to execute operational tasks against Russia on the cyber battlefield.
A list of Russian targets was provided shortly after via a Telegram channel formed to manage the IT Army’s actions. There are 31 targets on this list, including Russian government institutions, government IP addresses, government storage devices and mail servers, three banks, significant enterprises supporting critical infrastructure, and even Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine and email portal.
The IT Army was formed soon after Ukraine’s Defense Ministry began enlisting members of the underground hacker community to help in cyberattacks against Russia. This call to action was made public by Cyber Unit Technologies founder Yegor Aushev, who released an application form on Facebook.
According to Aushev, hackers from all over the world, including those from Russia, have pledged to assist Ukraine. The recruiting of volunteer hackers and security researchers appears to impact the sites that are being attacked. The websites of the Kremlin, the State Duma, and the Ministry of Defense were all down because of what looks to be a widespread denial of service attacks.
You could be tempted to join the “IT army” and launch cyberattacks against Russian businesses while witnessing visuals of Russia invading Ukraine on TV or social media. However, it’s crucial to note that, regardless of the objective, launching denial of service attacks, penetrating networks and computers, and defacing websites are still unlawful in most countries.
Moreover, as Robert Lee, CEO of cybersecurity firm Dragos, stated, a large number of hands attacking the same business might jeopardize legitimate law enforcement and government operations, as well as the actions of cybersecurity firms with legal relationships with the US government.
While nations assisting Ukraine may turn a blind eye to cyber-attacks against Russian firms, it is critical to consider the legal implications of such operations before carrying them out. As another way to assist them during this fight, the IT Army Telegram channel proposes that people post recordings of the attack on Ukraine on social media, YouTube, and through advertisements.