State-backed hackers from Russia have conducted multiple cyber spy operations on countries allied with Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February this year.
The details were published in a report from Microsoft, saying that the cyber aspects of the current war extend far beyond Ukraine and reflect on the unique nature of cyberspace. The Russian embassy in Washington has not responded to requests for comments so far, but the country has, in the past, denied conducting foreign cyber espionage missions, saying that it goes against the country’s foreign policy.
The Microsoft report said that researchers have found 128 organisations in 42 countries outside of Ukraine were also targeted by the same groups that launched destructive cyberattacks on Ukrainian entities in a stealthy, espionage-focused hacks.
The report says that outside of Ukraine, the United States was the most-targeted country. Member countries of the NATO alliance were also tageted in the attacks, the report said.
Apart from these, the targets also included ogranisations based in Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland, as well as Finland and Sweden, countries that have, in the past, expressed desire to join the NATO alliance. The report from Microsoft said that the hacking against allies was successful about 29 percent of the time and in some cases, it even led to data being stolen.
Earlier, in another report, Microsoft had indicated cyberattacks laid the groundwork for military missions in Ukraine. The latest research pointed to six incidents since the invasion when cyberattacks against targets in Ukraine appeared to precede military attacks.