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Weekly News Digest #75

By Hacken

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Cybersecurity burnout. A new major problem.

Such issues as high employee turnover, low staff morale, and burnout heavily affect the ability of businesses to address major cybersecurity threats. Projects experience the pressure of tightening the hiring market and high levels of resignation. According to the survey carried out by ThreatConnect, 50% of companies have serious gaps in basic technical IT security skills while 32% of IT managers and 25% of IT directors are considering quitting their jobs in the next 6 months.

A high level of stress is one of the main factors forcing employees to leave their jobs. Human error is among the key reasons for data breaches. When employees are stressed, they are more likely to make mistakes. Under stress, humans’ cognitive load is overwhelmed and that is why it is so difficult for them to spot the signs of a phishing attack.

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Russia wants to evade sanctions through crypto

On 24 February Russia started one of the most horrible military operations in the modern history of humankind by attacking Ukraine. Russia is now facing sweeping and widespread sanctions such as the ones targeting banks and state-owned enterprises. Caroline Malcolm, the Head of International Policy at Chainalysis noted that Russia can use blockchain technologies to evade sanctions. 

However, crypto is not a silver bullet for Russia since the cryptocurrency ecosystem can put measures in place to detect transactions initiated by sanctioned individuals. However, malicious actors and states have already used crypto as a source of malicious income. For example, according to the UN report, North Korea is funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs using crypto.

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Russian-born Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin slams Kremlin: Ukraine invasion “a crime”

One of the most influential blockchain leaders Vitalik Buterin railed against Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. He condemned it to be a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people. Buterin posts that he was very upset about Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. The capital of Ukraine Kyiv is targeted by a powerful Russian attack. 

Buterin is firm in his position against the war in Ukraine. Earlier he made tweets in which he expressed hope that Russia would not start massive warfare against Ukraine. Buterin has been known for always expressing his opinion publicly. 

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DDoS attacks against Russia launched by Anonymous to support Ukraine

The hacking group Anonymous has taken down the state-owned outlet Russia Today in a DDoS attack. Government websites are also hit by this attack. Russia Today is the channel used by Putin for propaganda purposes. The attack involved multiple systems flooding a targeted website so that no other traffic could reach it. 

Anonymous is a decentralized collective without hierarchy or leadership. In its previous campaigns, the group was targeting the Islamic State, the CIA, and the Church of Scientology. Earlier this month Russian-backed hackers conducted a large number of DDoS attacks targeting websites in Ukraine including the government ones. 

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Ukraine calls on hackers to help defend against Russia

Cybersecurity companies in Ukraine seek volunteers to help the nation’s military carry out espionage operations against Russian forces. The Ukrainian government is calling on the country’s underground hackers to protect the country. Hackers are asked to submit their applications via Google docs specifying their major and skills.

It is likely that the request came from the country’s Defense Ministry. Volunteers will be divided into offensive and defensive units. The co-founder of a Kyiv-based cybersecurity company Yegor Aushev has said that volunteers have already submitted hundreds of applications.

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