According to The Guardian, 300,000 volunteer hackers have joined together to wage cyber warfare against Russia.
Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Federov called for hackers to join the digital frontline after he posted a link to a Telegram channel.
“We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.me/itarmyofurraine. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists,” Federov tweeted.
We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.co/Ie4ESfxoSn. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
300,000 people have joined the group on the Telegram chat app. There are ‘missions’ that are handed out to help hackers disrupt Russian web services and cause ‘cyber chaos’ for the invading forces.
According to NetBlocks, the band of hackers has been successful so far. According to The Guardian, availability for the Kremlin has been “intermittent” since the invasion began.
NetBlocks director Alp Tocker revealed that: “The crowdsourced attacks have been successful in disrupting Russian government and state-backed media websites.”
One member of the IT Army – who wished to remain anonymous – opened up about his reasons for joining the digital fight, telling The Guardian: “I wanted to help and use my attacking skills to help Ukraine.”
“I’m from Switzerland, but I’m a strong hacker and I’m so sorry for every Ukrainian. I do it because I stand with Ukraine and I want to help somehow. I think if we hack Russia’s infrastructure they will stop, maybe, because nothing will work anymore,” he added.
The volunteer hacker said that joining the hacking collective felt like the right thing to do.
He went on to praise the group, saying: “I have never seen so many people wanting to do something in my whole life. You ask for participants to crash something [break it] or run something and you have it.”
According to Check Point Research, online attacks against Ukrainian military and governmental sectors went up by 196% in the first three days of the invasion.