Cyberattacks in NATO countries quadrupled within two years
Russian cyberattacks in NATO countries quadrupled last year compared to 2020, according to the Google search engine. In Ukraine, the number of Russian cyberattacks tripled in the same period, the US company announced on Thursday.
The rise in attacks coincides with the start of Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and is a sign that cyberwarfare will continue to grow in importance in future conflicts, according to Google.
According to the tech company, Russian government-backed attackers intensified their activities since 2021, before the start of Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine.
The report's authors noted "more destructive cyberattacks" in Ukraine during the first four months of last year than in the previous eight years. Around the start of the war almost exactly a year ago, they said, the peak was reached.
The goal had been to disrupt and impair Ukraine's government and military capabilities. The cyber offensive by actors backed by Russian forces also targeted actors across NATO.
According to Google, it ranged from website hijacking and intelligence gathering to campaigns to influence public opinion - including in favor of the mercenary Wagner force.
"It is clear that cyberattacks will play a significant role in future armed conflicts, complementing traditional forms of warfare," the Google assessment said.
Image by Gerd Altmann