The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in the development of a war that is not only military, political and economic but also Cyber. This threat hits the net of all organizations, companies and educational institutions located in the Ukrainian territory. In the article we explain this difficult situation and how to protect data and privacy in Ukraine from all sorts of attacks.
1. News about the conflict in Ukraine, also on the Cyber side
While the UN defines the evolution of the war in Ukraine as an “unacceptable escalation” and Putin orders to prepare the nuclear weapons obtaining also the support of Belarus, the world worries about the escalation becoming rather a fast track down to hell because of a global atomic conflict.
The reaction by people around the world is making room for the most diversified attitudes: from requests for peace on social networks and in the squares, to the Anonymous hackers who, on Saturday February 26, rendered inaccessible for a long time the websites of the Kremlin, the Soviet Defense Ministry, and obliged the Russian broadcasting company RT to broadcast real pictures of Ukraine.
In the meantime, the resistance by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is obtaining unexpected results, underestimated also by the Russian army, which has already lost more than 5,000 soldiers, more than 1,000 armored vehicles and about sixty airplanes.
Finally, the Ukrainian request for immediate membership in Europe obliges NATO to express itself and expose itself to an engagement in the conflict that goes beyond the economic sanctions originally announced.
>> Let’s try now to quickly review how we reached this point…
2. The origin of the crisis
In order to understand the origin of the current conflicts we must go far back in time and acknowledge that the identity of the Russian people was born in Kiev, not in Moscow, and precisely around the year 1,000, when the “Rus” populations gathered together in the territories that today make up western Ukraine.
Ukraine is a very wide country, stretching from Luhansk in Donbass, of Orthodox faith, Russian language and pro-Soviet culture, to the Polish border, 1,200 kilometers away, in Leopoli, influenced by Catholic Poland and by European culture.
Ukrainian and Russian nationalism have fought each other out of the world spotlight, but often with bloody conflicts, for all the 20th century.
Some facts, on the other hand, are well-known history, like the horrendous Ukrainian famine with hundreds of millions of deaths in the 30s wanted by Stalin, or the nationalist Ukrainian support to Hitler against Russia during World War II.
With this historical background, it comes as no surprise that separatist guerrilla movements have been active in eastern Ukraine for decades.
With the downfall of the USSR in 1991, NATO, worried about the political chaos among the newly-born independent states equipped with nuclear weapons, started a diplomatic negotiation that ended with the promise it would not expand to the East. Afterwards, however, it accepted the Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Poland.
In this general picture of reciprocal worries among superpowers equipped with nuclear arsenals, the position of Ukraine has become crucial not only for strategic reasons but also for cultural and economic ones, given the country’s production and its position on the Black Sea.
The worsening of the situation dates back especially to February 2014, when groups of Russian soldiers reached Crimea and, the following month, supported the executive fulfillment of the referendum on Crimea’s self-determination, which set forth the willingness of the Donbass area to be annexed by Russia. The validity of the referendum was contested by the Ukrainian government and ended in an interior war against Russian separatists, which has continued up to now.
3. The importance of Internet and of Cybernetic security
With the historical background we just discussed, it is easy to see how the reasons of both parties are symmetrical, and why the population of Ukraine itself is divided and sees the war as a necessity: both parties claim that they are fighting in order to defend their own cultural identity, both the Soviet invaders who want to protect the separatists and the Ukrainian people victim of the bombings.
In such a complex and difficult to solve puzzle, propaganda can play a crucial role since, through lies, it can stir up the population to fight either in one sense or the other.
Moreover, global IT networks today can spread data wherever in the world, and just like Anonymous has proven it can enter the crucial Russian circuits, so Soviet hackers could trigger a cyber war towards other countries deemed enemies.
We are all potentially at risk: on the one hand, of the spread of false contents, on the other, of malicious attacks.
For this reason, FlashStart, who is among the European leaders in Cyber Security, is on the frontline to safeguard the network at the global level.
4. Geoblocking, geographic protection
FlashStart effectively helps reduce the chances of Dropper injection by blocking, at the DNS level, access to compromised/dangerous websites and allowing, thanks to the exclusive “Geoblocking” feature, the block of DNS resolution towards websites hosted in countries deemed dangerous.
It will be nevertheless possible to allow partial DNS resolution only of some websites originating from these countries, with total flexibility and security.
In our dashboard it is possible to decide which countries/nations to communicate with, meaning from where it should be possible to receive requests and towards where users should be allowed to send them. Also, you can select the ones which, instead, should be blocked for security reasons.
In this difficult historical period, the Ukrainian people does not only have to face military and political attacks, but also cyber ones.
The entire world is actually under threat from potential attacks coming from Russia, Azerbaijan and other countries in that geographical area deemed dangerous both for the system and for the single user.
For this reason, FlashStart is especially good at blocking navigation towards the websites of these dangerous territories.
5. FlashStart for Ukrainian Companies
FlashStart has inaugurated an important initiative that grants free and complete protection until 31 December 2022. This opportunity is reserved to all the companies, organizations and educational institutions located in the Ukrainian territory.
A simple gesture, which however can help the deeply hit Ukrainian people at this terrible time. FlashStart is committed to make Internet a safe place, protecting it from all sorts of threats.
Our nodes in Warsaw and Frankfurt will grant, in any case, the efficiency of our Cloud filtering system.
>> To request the service, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The offer is valid not only for our clients but also for all the companies located in the Ukrainian territory. Therefore, if you have any contacts in the area and you would like to protect them, please forward them this benevolent initiative of ours.
For those wishing to support the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian National Bank’s fundraising campaign is active: https://bank.gov.ua/en/news/all/natsionalniy-bank-vidkriv-spetsrahunok-dlya-zboru-koshtiv-na-potrebi-armiyi
You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on any sort of Router and Firewall to secure desktop and mobile devices and IoT devices on local networks.