Ukraine govt, military sector record 196% increase in cyber attacks amid war, says CPR


Lotem Finkelstein, Head of Threat Intelligence at Check Point Software.
Lotem Finkelstein, Head of Threat Intelligence at Check Point Software.

Phishing emails in the East Slavic languages increased 7-fold.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Wed 2 Mar 2022, 2:48 AM

Last updated: Wed 2 Mar 2022, 2:50 AM

Cyber-attacks on Ukraine’s government and military sector surged by a staggering 196 per cent in the first three days of combat, says a latest research from Check Point Research (CPR).

Cyber-attacks on Russian organisations increased by four per cent. Phishing emails in the East Slavic languages increased 7-fold, where a third of those malicious phishing emails were directed at Russian recipients sent from Ukrainian emails addresses. CPR also warns of fraudulent emails being sent to dupe people who are seeking to donate to Ukraine from abroad.

Lotem Finkelstein, Head of Threat Intelligence at Check Point Software said: “Cyber activity is surging around the ongoing Russia/Ukraine conflict. We’re seeing cyber-attack increases on both sides, with the Ukrainian government and military sector seeing the heaviest increase. It’s important to understand that the current war also has a cyber-dimension to it, where people online are choosing side, from the dark web to social media. Today, we are publishing a post on how the Russia/Ukraine conflict is polarising the cyber space. Hacktivists, cybercriminals, white hat researchers or even technology companies are picking a clear side, emboldened to act on behalf of their choices. For people seeking to donate to Ukraine, we’re issuing strong caution of fraudulent emails seeing to capitalize off your willingness to give. Always check the email address of the email sender. Watch for any misspellings in emails. And verify if the email sender is authentic. We’ll continue to monitor all sides of the cyber activity around the ongoing war.”

Safety tips for people looking to donate to Ukraine:

Spot Fake Domains

One of the most common techniques used in phishing emails are lookalike or fake domains. Lookalike domains are designed to appear to be a legitimate or trusted domain to a casual glance. For example, instead of the email address, a phishing email may use or boss@compа Phishers may also use fake but plausible domains in their attacks.

Be wary of Unusual Attachments

A common goal of phishing emails is to trick the recipient into downloading and running attached malware on their computer. For this to work, the email needs to carry a file that is capable of running executable code. As a result, phishing emails may have unusual or suspicious attachments. For example, a supposed invoice may be a ZIP file, or an attached Microsoft Office document may

require macros to be enabled to view content. If this is the case, it is probable that the email and its attachments are malicious.

Look out for Incorrect Grammar or Tone

Often, phishing emails are not written by people fluent in the language. This means that these emails can contain grammatical errors or simply sound wrong.

Real emails from a legitimate organisation are unlikely to have these mistakes, so they should be a warning sign of a potential phishing attack.

Phishing emails are designed to convince the recipient to do something that is not in their best interests (giving away sensitive information, installing malware, etc.).

To accomplish this, phishers commonly use psychological tricks in their campaigns, such as:

• Sense of Urgency: Phishing emails commonly tell their recipients that something needs to be done right away. This is because someone in a hurry is less likely to think about whether the email looks suspicious or is legitimate.

• Use of Authority: Business email compromise (BEC) scams and other spear-phishing emails commonly pretend to be from the CEO or other high rand authorized personal. These scams take advantage of the fact that the recipient is inclined to follow orders from authorities, whomever they might be.

Beware of Suspicious Requests

Phishing emails are designed to steal money, credentials, or other sensitive information. If an email makes a request or a demand that seems unusual or suspicious, then this might be evidence that it is part of a phishing attack. —

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