Since Russia’s attack in 2022, Kyiv has called volunteers operating in cyberspace to help Kyiv’s war effort. Hackers, including those in the IT Army of Ukraine, have taken credit for the cyberattacks across Russia and occupied parts of the country, according to Deutsche Welle.
Cybersecurity researchers say the aim of attacks, which have become more sophisticated during the war, shifting their focus to fewer but more targeted operations, is to discredit Russia. This year, hackers launched 130 attacks on more than 400 pro-Russian targets.
Uncoordinated operations characterized the early days of the IT Army. Currently, the group has evolved into a large entity with close ties to the Ukrainian government.
In May 2022, it claimed to have attacked Russia’s Chestny Znak supply chain monitoring system, which tracks products in the Russian market, and a year later, it brought down Russian state media websites during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address.
Other hacking groups, some of them interconnected, have also launched cyberattacks against pro-Russian targets.
Such links between hackers and the Ukrainian government have been criticized for blurring the lines between state and non-state players in cyber warfare.
To resolve legal obscurity over the IT Army, Ukraine is apparently preparing legislation to integrate members into the reserve section of the armed forces, according to DW.