The Ukrainian government has warned that Russia is planning a massive attack on critical infrastructure. And not only that of Ukraine, but also that of its allies.

They will likely come in the form of hacks and DDoS against industrial control systems (ICS). Let’s hope this isn’t just an exercise in Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy’s (pictured) wolf cries.

“Hello Ukraine,” says the mural. In today’s SB Blogwatch, we paint the city blue and yellow.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these blog bits for your entertainment. Without speaking about: שנה טובה.

Слава Україні — Героям Слава

What is craic? AJ Vicens reports—“Ukraine warns of ‘massive cyberattacks’ from Russia”:

Russia has lost ground
The Russian government is planning “massive cyberattacks” against Ukrainian critical infrastructure to “increase the effect of missile strikes on power supply facilities”. [They] also plan to “increase the intensity of DDoS attacks against critical infrastructure of Ukraine’s closest allies, primarily Poland and the Baltic states”, the Ukrainian government said.

Several European countries have faced DDoS attacks from what they have labeled as Russian or pro-Russian groups, including Norway, Romania, Italy and others. [The] The warning comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a call for… military reservists and issued a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons as Russia lost ground in eastern and southern Ukraine in recent weeks.

And? And Dan Goodin adds—“Russia plans ‘massive cyberattacks’”:

Ukrainian forces recaptured large swaths of territory
The mobilization… which was the first time since World War II that Russia had done so, sparked protests and a diaspora of mostly male Russians fleeing the country. A pivot to an increased reliance on hacking by the country’s military could be seen as a way to achieve the goals without further burdening the current personnel shortage.

[The] the notice comes two weeks after Ukrainian forces recaptured large swaths of territory in Kharkiv and other cities. [It] alluded to two cyberattacks carried out by the Russian government – first in 2015, then almost exactly a year later – that deliberately left Ukrainians without electricity during one of the coldest months of the year. The attacks were considered proof of concept.

Does it have anything to do with Black Hat? Jessica Lyons Hardcastle reminds us of this by asking: “Will it be before or after the nuclear strikes that Putin keeps talking about?”:

Be ready for attacks
These earlier attacks, attributed to Russian cybercriminals from the GRU, used BlackEnergy (2015) and Industroyer (2016) malware to disrupt Ukrainian power supply and industrial production. Last month, during a surprise visit to Black Hat, Ukraine’s top cybersecurity official, Victor Zhora, said his country’s threat intelligence team had uncovered “Industroyer2,” an apparent successor.

Putin has also threatened to use nuclear weapons amid Russian military setbacks, though cyberattacks may be the safest option for the Kremlin. …repeated alerts from CISA and other cybersecurity agencies in Five Eyes countries [have urged] owners and operators of critical infrastructure must be prepared to deal with attacks from crews supported by – or sympathetic to – Moscow.

But how? Surely the SCIs of the Ukrainian public services are not connected to the Internet? Yes and no, said quantum:

The hard part is getting into the parts of the network that matter. The Colonial Pipeline attack never actually affected the pumping operations, it just stopped them from billing. I doubt any Ukrainian utility would do the same during a war, but its operations might not be so isolated from the internet.

There could be a VPN that gives certain groups remote access to critical systems (and therefore Russians if they exploit those groups) or a misconfiguration that gives an attacker on the corporate network more access than he doesn’t think so.

But Statistical don’t buy it:

The war was going to end in days, I mean weeks, I mean months. If you could take down the grid and win the war by summer, why not use it to bring the inevitable victory much faster and cheaper?

I’m on the side of if they could have, they would. They crippled satellite terminals in Ukraine (and through collateral damage across most of Europe) in the early hours of the war.

Maybe it’s just Ukrainian propaganda? Zelenskyy’s latest attempt to snatch more hardware from NATO? alain williams wish you were less of a useful idiot:

[If] you live in Europe … you will have grown up in a peaceful environment, [which] will have you wondering why our governments spent so much on defence. … Putin showed us why this spending is necessary and was a wake-up call for many (myself included) to understand now that peace cannot be assumed: you have to be ready.

Spending on your local fire station is a total waste of money, until a house catches fire. [And] the only thing a bully understands is someone who is stronger than them.

Look behind the headlines. bradley13 feels the hand of history:

The world happily let Russia attack Chechnya 20 years ago. Then Georgia about 15 years ago. Then Crimea (also Ukraine) about 5 years ago. [But] the biggest surprise of the current conflict: Suddenly, Russia was not allowed to get away with this. … This is entirely due to Ukraine’s public relations efforts, led by their very charismatic new president. His actions have strengthened resistance in Ukraine and galvanized the international community.

Whoever in Ukraine is tasked with keeping the war in the headlines is doing an incredible job. Normally, whatever crisis the world is going through, it turns into background noise after a few weeks. Ukraine is always in the headlines, all over the world, and those headlines are almost always pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia. Compare that to the other side: Russia mostly succeeds in looking foolish or desperate.

Soldiers, weapons and logistics are essential to war. However, public relations – at home and abroad – are also important for any conflict that lasts longer than a month or two. Anyone old enough to remember the Vietnam War… will understand.

Fight fire with fire? IncorrigibleTroll is incorrigible:

The best answer would be for the NATO hackers to brick the [Russian] The MoD and Wagner payroll servers. If that causes a few orcs to shoot their commander, all the better.

Meanwhile, CoderDevo imagine the scene in Moscow:

It’s Friday. Have you got the C&C of this water plant yet? Nope? On the front line with you!

And finally:

Happy New Year to those who celebrate

Previously in And finally
Hat tip: SockCooker


Have you read SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best blogs, the best forums, and the weirdest websites…so you don’t have to. Hate messages may be directed to @RiCHi Where [email protected]. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Do not look at the laser with the remaining eye. E&OE. 30.

Sauce picture: Gleb Albovski (Going through Unsplash; leveled and cropped)

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