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Cyber Attacks Against Ukraine Pivoted to Target NATO Countries from September 2022

February 2023 by Check Point Research (CPR)

Check Point Research (CPR) highlights September 2022 as a turning point for cyber-attacks related to the Russia-Ukraine war. Since then, weekly cyber-attacks against Ukraine decreased by 44%, while cyber-attacks against NATO countries increased by nearly 57% in some cases. CPR lists wipers, multi-pronged attacks and hacktivism as key trends and forces as factors in the pivot.

Cyber-attacks against Russia saw a steady increase of 9% since September 2022
Estonia, Poland and Denmark saw increases of 57%, 31%, and 31%, respectively
UK and the US saw increases of 11% and 6%, respectively

Check Point Research (CPR) cites September 2022 as a turning point for cyber-attacks related to the Russian-Ukrainian war. When looking back, CPR noticed a difference in cyber-attacks when comparing the periods of March – September 2022 and October 2022 – February 2023. Cyber-attacks against Ukraine decreased, while cyber-attacks against NATO countries increased sharply.

The numbers:

44% decrease in average number of weekly attacks per organization against Ukraine, from 1,555 attacks to 877
9% increase in the average number of weekly attacks per organization against Russian Federation, from 1,505 to 1,635
Increases in cyber-attacks against NATO countries
Estonia, Poland and Denmark saw increases of 57%, 31%, and 31%, respectively
UK and the US saw increases of 11% and 6%, respectively

Figure 1. Average weekly cyber-attacks per organization

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Figure 2. Average weekly cyber-attacks per organization for Government and Military industry

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Key trends observed:

Rise of wipers
Multi-pronged cyber attacks
Hacktivism

Sergey Shykevich, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point Research:

“We see a change in the direction of cyber-attacks at a specific point during the war. Starting the third quarter of 2022, we see a decline in the attacks against Ukraine, while also seeing increases in the attacks against certain NATO countries.

We see the deployed efforts especially against specific NATO countries that are more hostile to Russia. Some of those attacks are malware attacks, and some of those are focused on information operations around specific political, geo-political and military events.”


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