Connect with Joseph Steinberg

Joseph Steinberg: CyberSecurity Expert Witness, Privacy, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisor

Putin Thanks Pro-Ukraine Hackers

CyberSecurity

Vladimir Putin’s Thank You Letter To Pro-Ukraine Hackers

Vladimir Putin’s Thank You Letter To Pro-Ukraine Hackers

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is unlikely to publicly thank the tens of thousands of pro-Ukraine hacker activists whose highly visible hacking efforts have likely helped Russia far more than they have Ukraine, but if he were to issue a thank you letter, it might read something like this:

Dear “Pro-Ukraine Hackers,”

I wish to thank you for all of your valiant efforts over the past few weeks. You have probably done more than anyone other than myself to help Russia prepare for cyberwar.

Thank you for not listening to your own cybersecurity experts when they told you to “Stop hacking Russian websites – you are helping the Russians, not the Ukrainians.” Of course, your defacing Russian websites did no more damage to the Russian war machine than would spraying graffiti on the walls of the Kremlin bathrooms. At the same time, however, your virtual graffiti efforts have allowed us to learn quite a bit about the vulnerabilities present in our computer systems – and we are applying that knowledge now to fortify our defenses, starting, of course, with systems far more important to us than the websites that you chose to deface. Many of our vulnerable systems might have even been previously breached by Western spies – that you for helping us lock out such cyber-attackers. Naturally, we plan to share what we learned from you with our allies as well.

I also wish to congratulate you on your leaking emails that you stole from a Belarusian weapons producer – thanks to you, we have been able to identify and address vulnerabilities that we believe foreign powers were exploiting for espionage purposes. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for, once again, undermining anti-Russian efforts.

Likewise, I wish to express my appreciation for your having hacked Russian gas pumps and causing them to display a nasty message about me; as our intelligence services were concerned that foreign militaries had breached portions of our fuel distribution infrastructure, and that our adversaries may have been preparing to cut off fuel supplies as our troops moved westward, your identifying the vulnerabilities in the pumps helped us ensure that our troops can continue to invade Ukraine without running out of gas. A personal insult to myself is clearly a small price to pay to keep our troops advancing towards my military goal.

And, yes, I should also congratulate you on your having managed to get Ukrainian videos onto Russian television – but, let’s face it, it’s 2022, not 1980, and Russians had already seen those videos on the Internet. You, though, have allowed us to learn how to better protect our communications systems from foreign powers who could have otherwise used them to do far worse to us that air accurate video footage.

On that note, thank you also for helping me build support at home; your doxing of many private Russian citizens clearly demonstrated to so many of them and their families that your war is not with me nor with the Russian government, but with the Russian people. Your targeting of civilians, and of private businesses, is most appreciated.

In short, your militarily-meaningless defacements, childish trolling, and attacks on civilians’ data were a tiny price for my government to pay for the massive, invaluable penetration test that you performed for us free of charge. You have helped us detect and shut down ongoing Western intelligence operations, helped us identify where and how we had to fortify our cyber defenses, and compromised the secrecy of many Western cyber weapons. While wars are won with strategy, not trolling, you wasted your own valuable cyber-attack resources on symbolic, rather than meaningful, attacks. And, of course, you also put your own nations at future risk through your support for vigilantism and anarchy.

You see, while your feeble attempts at cyber-terrorism inflicted little or no damage to the Russian war machine, your actions did flagrantly violate the laws of many of the countries in which you are operating; Western laws don’t permit you to hack when you believe that the target deserves to be hacked any more than they do when you do not. You are not soldiers acting on orders per the Geneva Convention – you are simply criminals violating civilian laws, self-appointed vigilantes engaging in cyber terrorism. And many of you have left digital trails that we have preserved so that we can later track you down. When the current conflict ends, Russia will demand that you be prosecuted for your crimes – perhaps, as your own nations have done vis-à-vis Russian hackers, we will even demand that you be extradited to stand trial in Moscow. Of course, I doubt that your governments will cooperate with our requests – but if they refuse to do so, or refuse to otherwise fully prosecute you for your actions that their own laws consider to be cybercrime felony offenses, they should not expect that Russia, China, or any other nation will prosecute anyone targeting the West with cyberattacks either. Thank you for putting your own governments in such a bind. Maybe, I will even get luckier – if Western law enforcement turns a blind eye to “self-justified hacking” – how long will it be until half the population of the USA starts cyberattacking Planned Parenthood, while the other half targets gun manufacturers?

Thank you again,

V Putin

Continue Reading

More in CyberSecurity

 

POSTS BY DATE

  • 2022 (15)
  • 2021 (48)
  • 2020 (51)
  • 2019 (54)
  • 2018 (106)
  • 2017 (100)
  • 2016 (26)

POSTS BY CATEGORY

JOIN MY NEWSLETTER

* indicates required