Cyberattacks are intensifying amid war, Czech experts warn

According to Drmola, such fraudsters can ask people for financial support. Citizens should thus be cautious before they send money or personal data to organisations that approach them, he added. [EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO]

War in Ukraine has increased the intensity of cyberattacks, Czech security experts have warned. The humanitarian crisis can also be an opportunity for fraudsters posing as charities or NGOs assisting Ukrainian refugees.

“The ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis will no doubt be exploited by internet fraudsters who can opt for phishing and similar type of attacks targeting ordinary citizens and users,” Jakub Drmola, a cyber security expert at Masaryk University in Brno, told EURACTIV.cz.

According to Drmola, such fraudsters can ask people for financial support. Citizens should thus be cautious before they send money or personal data to organisations that approach them, he added.

Besides European citizens, Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and official networks are among Russia’s main target of cyberattacks.

“Russia can shut down the internet and disable internet infrastructure. Moreover, they have the capability to cyberattack Ukraine from countries other than Russia. That is why cooperation between cyber agencies in member states is important,” Slovak MEP Vladimír Bilčík (EPP) has warned.

Six EU countries – Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Romania and Croatia – have already sent a group of cyber security experts to the country at Ukraine’s request. The project has been developed under the PESCO initiative.

While the recent escalation of the conflict has increased the number of cyberattacks, their nature has not changed much. “In general, we see the same types of attacks as before the outbreak of the war, although the intensity has increased on both sides,” Drmola added.

Particularly popular are DDoS attacks targeting networks with many requests and high volumes of data to overwhelm the service.

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