Cassidy O’Toner | Writer
March 17, 2022
Only a few days ago, it was announced that 300,000 volunteer hackers have declared virtual war on Russia. While many have already stepped up to fight directly in defense of Ukraine, others who are unable or unwilling to take up arms have opted to defend themselves and their allies in other ways.
Since the start of Putin’s attack on Ukraine, the Ukrainian government and people have been quick to defend the the country. While Ukrainian troupes and citizens have fought valiantly against Russia up to this point, it appears that Ukraine has added another weapon to their arsenal.
One primary method of garnering support and unity among this ‘IT army’ is through an app called Telegram. Media, financial, and transportation outlets that are supporting Russia’s war efforts are their primary target and already they have been successful in disrupting Russian web services. Given the mobility and access the internet allows, even people from the US have offered their support via Telegram. “These hackers could make a huge difference,” senior Angelique LeRoux shared, “and I commend them for their will to fight back”.
While this cyber-army is not technically part of the Ukrainian government, officials are not opposed to their efforts. Victor Zhora, an official at the Ukrainian cyber security agency charged with protecting government networks, has asserted that any actions taken by the hackers is defensive in nature and is not the responsibility of the Ukrainian government. While While the government cannot take credit for the actions of these hackers, it hasn’t stopped Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, from tweeting a link to a list of potential targets that included major Russian energy and financial firms.
While this whole ordeal of thousands of untrained hackers supporting Ukraine seems bizarre, hacking may now be an essential aspect of modern war – one that brings its own slew of ethical questions.
“I think that Ukraine hackers are well justified,” senior Cameron Trunec said, “They are just protecting themselves from an opposing force.”
Whether you agree with their involvement or not, given the advancements in technology and the increasing role social media and the internet have on our world, this new facet of warfare is now must be considered.