March 19, 2020
ISSP Continues Operations in Face of COVID-19 Epidemic
March 2, 2022
Oleh Derevianko: "Cyber warfare is going on for years now and there's no sign that's gonna end"
ISSP Chairman Oleh Derevianko was invited to ABC News Live to discuss cyberattacks against Ukraine and Ukrainian efforts to prevent Russian disinformation campaigns:
Kyra Phillips, ABC News: As Russian's military continues to strike Ukrainian cities, national security officials are keeping eyes on a different battlefield. Senior U.S. law enforcement and homeland security officials have told ABC news that there is growing concern that Russia could launch further cyber attacks against the West, potentially targeting electrical grids, banking systems and mobile networks. That's why we want to bring in Oleh Derevianko, a Ukrainian cyber security expert and co-founder of the leading Ukrainian cyber security company ISSP - Information Systems Security Partners.
Let's talk to Oleh about more. Oleh, this is nothing new to you: you were talking about the threat of cyber attacks back in 2017, when Russian hackers took control of Ukraine's power grid. You were a canary in the coal mine then. Did anyone listen to you because there is a history here?
Oleh Derevianko, ISSP: Kyra, thanks a lot. That's a great question and with cyberattacks everyone gets kind of very agitated when cyber attack happens, when it culminates. And then the wave comes down and then people start thinking "oh, maybe it was the last one", and if people don't see the cyber attacks in media for a while, they think that probably things came down. But cyber warfare is going on for years now and there's no sign that's gonna end. So for us it's basically nothing new what's going on in terms of cyber, and the the level of cyber attacks at this particular moment in Ukraine it's quite high. But it's typical for us, as in recent years it was always like this.
K.P.: So then let me ask you, what can you tell us about any initiatives being used right now to interrupt Russia's internal and or military command and control communications?
O.D.: I can't comment too much on military cyber efforts because the war is going on. But I can tell you that apart from what's going on in terms of professional cyber warfare, there's also a huge movement among the professionals in both IT and cyber in Ukraine, who join different teams and different units, and they are not only helping companies and helping the military forces to do their job to keep protecting assets from both cyberattacks and other threats. They also think about different perspectives - these units of cyber forces. They are thinking further ahead about what we're gonna do when we will win, as we will need to chase all the war criminals that conduct those crimes today. Ukraine has already all databases of all the participants of this war here. So we're going to work further on that and I think that everyone will have to to be punished for what they did here, in Ukraine.
K.P.: Well, you know hacking, and there has been reports of progress to hack and shut down Russian comms, so that this propaganda war can get crushed and the truth can get out to the Russian people on what is really happening. Are you seeing that? Are you seeing that working at this point?
O.D.: Yeah, there's a lot of efforts to convene the truth and to send the message and to provide the accurate information of what's going on. By the way it relates not only to Russia, it also relates to Belarus, because Belarus, at least on the level of government, is helping Russia in this war, so actually participates in this war. Look, you had in your program very important pictures of what's going on now even in Russia, alone with what's going on everywhere else in terms of how people rising up and how people trying to finally realize what's going on. And, of course, the majority of people in Russia are still at the denial stage, I believe.
K.P.: But the government of Ukraine is asking for help now from volunteers, from the country's hacker underground. What's the bigger threat here you think: troops on the ground or misinformation and cyber attacks?
O.D.: Of course, troops on the ground have a larger threat, because it threatens directly the lives of people, and not just military people, but everyone. But the informational component of this war is extremely important from various perspectives. For example, from the perspective of keeping up the motivation and the mood of Ukrainians, and also from the perspective that people in Russia and Belarus will finally realize what's going on and stand up to overthrow their governments.
Full version of interview is below: