Ukraine Claims "Hybrid Warfare" Already Underway

The Ukrainian authorities have warned that “another massive wave of hybrid warfare” is crashing over the country as Russia steps up physical and cyber-attacks.

The latest announcement from intelligence agency the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) yesterday urged citizens to remain calm, think critically and seek news only from official sources.

It claimed that its aggressor to the east is not only attempting “sabotage and terrorist attacks” via networks of intelligence agents but combining them with tried-and-tested tactics in cyberspace.

“We fully understand the motives of the current information pressure – to sow anxiety in Ukrainian society, to undermine confidence in the state’s ability to protect its citizens, to destabilize our unity,” the missive claimed.

“The SBU is seeing such manifestations of hybrid warfare in social networks, some mass media, in the spread of narratives of the aggressor state by certain politicians, etc.”

The notice also claimed that the security service is proactively working hard to mitigate these threats.

For example, earlier this month, the SBU dismantled a bot farm in Lviv that it claimed was being used to manage 18,000 fake mobile accounts.

These accounts were directed from Russia to register fake social media accounts designed to disseminate falsehoods aimed at spreading panic in the populace. These include fake stories alleging mines had been laid in public spaces.

The accounts were also used to make bomb threats related to thousands of schools and other organizations, according to reports.

Around a month ago, Russia launched a major cyber-offensive against Ukraine, defacing over a dozen government websites with propaganda messages. It subsequently fired destructive “WhisperGate” malware at targets in the country, designed to look as if it were financially motivated ransomware in echoes of the 2017 NotPetya campaign.

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