Info@NationalCyberSecurity
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Ukraine honours foreign vigilantes for hacking efforts against Russia | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Ukraine’s military has acknowledged a team of vigilante hackers named One Fist for their cyber-attacks targeting Russia. The group, which has engaged in activities such as stealing data from Russian military firms and hacking cameras to monitor troops, has received awards of gratitude for their contributions.

Many nations have established official award systems for ethical hacking, but this marks the first instance where a country has bestowed awards upon hackers for such actions.

According to a BBC report, the hackers received certificates of gratitude from eight different countries, including the UK, the US, and Poland, for their “significant contribution to the development and maintenance of vital activities of the military”.

US man Kristopher Kortright, known as “Voltage,” expressed his delight at being officially recognised, telling the BBC that he has devoted himself to hacking for Ukraine, even at the cost of losing his job and spending all his life’s savings.

“I’ve lost my job doing this and spent all my life savings in pursuit of a victory for Ukraine,” he said, adding, “This award is a real morale-booster.”

There are concerns about states encouraging civilian hackers, particularly for malicious and potentially criminal hacks. Dr. Lukasz Olejnik, author of Philosophy of Cybersecurity, believes that such awards can be “dangerous.”

He stated “Giving out awards may further blur the lines between combatants and civilians, and even undermine the recent call by the ICRC to limit and end the involvement of civilians in combat operations. In the long run, such erosion is dangerous.”

Emily Taylor, the chief executive of Oxford Information Labs and editor of Chatham House Cyber Policy journal, regards the hacking awards as a landmark moment that could reshape thinking about how cyber volunteers are employed in conflicts.

“Governments usually discourage non-state actors from directly engaging in the cyber domain, fearing escalation or unintended consequences. However, wartime often witnesses extraordinary technological innovation, and the Ukraine invasion is no exception.”

She remarked, “At times, such events compel a reconsideration of issues that were previously considered taboo.”

In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) cautioned against the use and encouragement of civilian hackers. Emphasising the need to uphold the rules of war, it even published guidelines to reinforce them.

 

Image source: BBC

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