In the first three days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cyber attacks on Ukrainian government sites and the military sector surged by 196% while attacks on Russian organizations increased by just 4%, according to a new report by Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software.
Check Point’s research department also notes a sharp increase in malicious phishing emails written in the East Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian) since last Thursday when the Russian assault began, compared to data from earlier this month.
A majority of the phishing emails are being directed at Russian recipients from real or spoofed Ukrainian emails addresses, the researchers say.
There is also a notable increase in fraudulent emails seeking donations for Ukraine, in a bid to dupe people into sending money to falsified funds, the researchers warn.
“Cyber activity is surging around the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict,” says Lotem Finkelstein, head of Threat Intelligence at Check Point Software in a statement. “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 sides, from the dark web to social media.”