Ukrainian CEO-turned-hacker details ‘official cyberwar’ between Russia and Ukraine

Ukrainian CEO-turned-hacker details 'official cyberwar' between Russia and Ukraine

The war between Russia and Ukraine is being fought on the battlefield – and in cyberspace.

You just have to ask Dyma Budorinea Ukrainian web security entrepreneur turned cyber-warrior currently based in Spain after leaving Kyiv just days before the Russian invasion began.

“This is an official cyberwar between Russia and Ukraine,” said Budorin, co-founder and CEO of Hackena Ukrainian cybersecurity consulting firm, Yahoo Finance told Yahoo Finance.

Budorin says almost his entire 70-member team has moved on. They still manage the day-to-day operations of their clients. But the rest of their time is spent cyberfight.

“Each team member is fighting in cyberspace against the Russian Federation,” Budorin said. He says international activists and hackers have helped Ukraine in targeting the Russian military’s supply chain, communications and transportation systems. “To stop the war, to stop Putin,” Budorin said.

ZAPORIZHZHIA REGION, UKRAINE – FEBRUARY 14, 2022 – A soldier sits in front of a computer in a tent at the military training center set up within 24 hours in the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine. (Photo credit: Dmytro Smolyenko/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Much of their efforts focus on Denial of Service (DoS) attacks against propaganda sites, bringing them down via a flood of internet traffic.

“The hits and the damage and the number of attacks [against Russia] in each sector, they are never comparable,” Budorin said.

It’s hard to say how much cyber damage is being done on either side, but Budorin insists Ukraine is winning.

“Soon, I think in a few weeks, [Russia] will have to close all doors for non-Russian IP addresses. Basically, they’re going to cut themselves off from the global internet,” he predicted.

Budorin says Ukraine has experienced Russian counterattacks. “But they are not comparable,” he said.

“We successfully defeat Russian propaganda – and not just Russian propaganda. We collect and coordinate critical infrastructure vulnerabilities,” he said.

Dyma Budorin, co-founder and CEO of Hacken, at a conference in kyiv, Ukraine, in 2021.

Dyma Budorin, co-founder and CEO of Hacken, at a conference in kyiv, Ukraine, in 2021.

Earlier this week, President Biden warned of possible Russian cyberattacks on the United States

“We are only at the beginning of this era of cyber warfare,” said the American university’s Kogod School of Business IT. Professor Erran Carmel says Yahoo Finance.

Carmel sees a greater risk of cyberattacks given the number of contract engineers from Russia and Belarus who may be hungry for work amid economic damage from recent sanctions. Gartner Studies show there are over a million IT professionals in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus combined. Around 250,000 of them work for consulting or outsourcing companies that serve clients outside the region.

“With Russia being disconnected from the West, many of them – in a few days, weeks, months – will be out of work. So what do they do?” Caramel asked. “A lot of them will get paid jobs, but some of them will get into ransomware. And that’s what worries me.”

Hacken’s CEO and his employees know they have their work cut out for them.

“There is no free time for Ukrainians,” Budorin said. “Every minute we try to stop the war.”

As for when he plans to return to Ukraine one day, “We all want to come back. But we will come back after the victory.”

Ines is a stock market reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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