As Tanks Rolled Into Ukraine, So Did Malware. Then Microsoft Entered the War.

Last Wednesday, a few hours before Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, alarms went off inside Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center, warning of a never-before-seen piece of “wiper” malware that appeared aimed at the country’s government ministries and financial institutions.

Within three hours, Microsoft threw itself into the middle of a ground war in Europe — from 5,500 miles away. The threat center, north of Seattle, had been on high alert, and it quickly picked apart the malware, named it “FoxBlade” and notified Ukraine’s top cyberdefense authority. Within three hours, Microsoft’s virus detection systems had been updated to block the code, which erases — “wipes” — data on computers in a network.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/us/politics/ukraine-russia-microsoft.html

Digital technology and the war in Ukraine by Brad Smith – Microsoft President & Vice Chair
All of us who work at Microsoft are following closely the tragic, unlawful and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. This has become both a kinetic and digital war, with horrifying images from across Ukraine as well as less visible cyberattacks on computer networks and internet-based disinformation campaigns. We are fielding a growing number of inquiries about these aspects and our work, and therefore we are putting in one place a short summary about them in this blog. This includes four areas: protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks; protection from state-sponsored disinformation campaigns; support for humanitarian assistance; and the protection of our employees.

At the outset, it’s important to note that we are a company and not a government or a country. In times like this, it’s especially important for us to work in consultation with those in government and, in this instance, our efforts have involved constant and close coordination with the Ukrainian government, as well as with the European Union, European nations, the U.S. government, NATO and the United Nations.
https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2022/02/28/ukraine-russia-digital-war-cyberattacks/

The dire predictions about a Russian cyber onslaught haven’t come true in Ukraine. At least not yet.
For more than a decade, military commanders and outside experts have laid out blueprints for how cyberwar would unfold: military and civilian networks would be knocked offline, cutting-edge software would sabotage power plants, and whole populations would be unable to get money, gas or refrigerated food.

But while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spawned all manner of cyberattacks and defenses, few are playing out the way the experts thought they would.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/02/28/internet-war-cyber-russia-ukraine/

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