300,000 hackers sign up to join Ukraine's 'IT army' to battle Russia on 'cyber front'

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By Carina Murphy

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Around 300,000 volunteer hackers have joined together to wage cyber warfare against Russia as part of Ukraine's 'IT Army', The Guardian reports.

The digital resistance movement was sparked by Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Federov, who tweeted a link to a Telegram channel in late February and called for hackers everywhere to join the digital frontline.

"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.

Since then, around 300,000 people have signed up to the group - call "IT Army of Ukraine" - on the Telegram chat app. There, 'missions' are handed out designed to help hackers destabilize and disrupt Russian web services, thereby causing 'cyber chaos' for the invading forces.

Figures from global internet connectivity monitoring group NetBlocks suggest that the band of hackers has been successful so far. According to The Guardian, they said that availability for the Kremlin and the Duma 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.

Meanwhile, another volunteer hacker - who is a Lithuanian IT expert - 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."

Russia has denied carrying out cyberattacks themselves - however, global tracker Check Point Research reports that online attacks against Ukrainian military and governmental sectors went up by 196% in the first three days of their invasion.

If you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd UC18 / Alamy

300,000 hackers sign up to join Ukraine's 'IT army' to battle Russia on 'cyber front'

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

Around 300,000 volunteer hackers have joined together to wage cyber warfare against Russia as part of Ukraine's 'IT Army', The Guardian reports.

The digital resistance movement was sparked by Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Federov, who tweeted a link to a Telegram channel in late February and called for hackers everywhere to join the digital frontline.

"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.

Since then, around 300,000 people have signed up to the group - call "IT Army of Ukraine" - on the Telegram chat app. There, 'missions' are handed out designed to help hackers destabilize and disrupt Russian web services, thereby causing 'cyber chaos' for the invading forces.

Figures from global internet connectivity monitoring group NetBlocks suggest that the band of hackers has been successful so far. According to The Guardian, they said that availability for the Kremlin and the Duma 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.

Meanwhile, another volunteer hacker - who is a Lithuanian IT expert - 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."

Russia has denied carrying out cyberattacks themselves - however, global tracker Check Point Research reports that online attacks against Ukrainian military and governmental sectors went up by 196% in the first three days of their invasion.

If you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd UC18 / Alamy