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Many Russian Cyberattacks Failed in First Months of Ukraine War, Study Says

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The Microsoft account of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns by Vladimir V. Putin’s government showed that only 29% breached targeted networks.

Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko

xfA new examination of how Russia used its cybercapabilities in the first months of the war in Ukraine contains a number of surprises: Moscow conducted more cyberattacks than was realized at the time to bolster its invasion, but more than two-thirds of them failed, echoing its poor performance on the physical battlefield.

However, the study, published by Microsoft on Wednesday, suggested that the government of President Vladimir V. Putin was succeeding more than many expected with its disinformation campaign to establish a narrative of the war favorable to Russia, including making the case that the United States was secretly producing biological weapons inside Ukraine.

The report is the latest effort by many groups, including American intelligence agencies, to understand the interaction of a brutal physical war with a parallel — and often coordinated — struggle in cyberspace. It indicated that Ukraine was well prepared to fend off cyberattacks, after having endured them for many years. That was at least in part because of a well-established system of warnings from private-sector companies, including Microsoft and Google, and preparations that included moving much of Ukraine's most important systems to the cloud, onto servers outside Ukraine.

From The New York Times
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