How Russian cyber troops can overturn western sanctions

Bild: mpix-foto/

According to cyber security experts, hackers working on behalf of Russia can at least partially overturn the economic sanctions imposed for the attack on Ukraine.

For example, Russian cyber troops are able to raise money through financial market manipulation, said Sandro Gaycken, founder of the Digital Society Institute at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin of the German Press Agency. “It is also conceivable that they are working with criminal ransomware gangs to extort ransoms from attacked companies in the West.”

Several US experts had previously warned that the Kremlin would respond to the sanctions with targeted cyber attacks. US President Joe Biden then called on companies and organizations to immediately step up cyber defense.

Russia will take subversive measures to get fresh money, Gaycken said. “They are able to manipulate stock exchange trading, you can criminally influence bets on falling share prices.” Criminal activities are also possible in company mergers and takeovers. Front companies of the Russian oligarchs could also be used for this purpose. “If Russia needs a lot of money quickly, which it looks like at the moment, this can lead to massive manipulative attacks on the global economy. For the West, this means that the defenses have to be strengthened if we don’t want to be robbed completely.”

Gaycken called for not just being limited to pure defence: “A number of banks have had good experiences responding to attacks on their infrastructure with targeted ‘hackbacks’. These cases have shown that such counterattacks can be carried out very precisely without suffering major collateral damage.”


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