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In Ukraine, Cyber War With Russia Heating Up 256

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-good-will-come-of-this dept.
concertina226 writes "If you think the crisis in the Ukraine is limited just to being just on the ground, think again. A cyberwar is flaring up between Ukraine and Russia and it looks like just the beginning. On Friday, communication centers were hijacked by unknown men to install wireless equipment for monitoring the mobile phones of Ukraine parliament members. Since then, Ukrainian hackers have been defacing Russian news websites, while Russia's Roskomnadzor is blocking any IP addresses or groups on social media from showing pro-Ukraine 'extremist' content." Adds reader Daniel_Stuckey: "On the other side of the border, RT — the news channel formerly known as Russia Today and funded by the state — had its website hacked on Sunday morning, with the word 'Nazi' not-so-stealthily slipped into headlines. Highlights included 'Russian senators vote to use stabilizing Nazi forces on Ukrainian territory,' and 'Putin: Nazi citizens, troops threatened in Ukraine, need armed forces' protection.' RT was quick to notice the hack, and the wordplay only lasted about 20 minutes." Finally, as noted by judgecorp, "The Ukrainian security service has claimed that Russian forces in Crimea are attacking Ukraine's mobile networks and politicians' phones in particular. Meanwhile, pro-Russian hackers have defaced Ukrainian news sites, posting a list of forty web destinations where content has been replaced. The pro-Russians have demonstrated Godwin's Rule — their animated GIF equates the rest of Ukraine to Nazis."
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In Ukraine, Cyber War With Russia Heating Up

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  • by JWW (79176) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:43PM (#46399073)

    The comparison is apt.

    Shortly after hosting an Olympic Games filled with nationalistic posing and bluster, the megalomaniacal leader of a dictatorship ordered his armed forces to invade a neighboring country for their "protection".

    It is in fact a perfectly apt comparison of the situation as history repeating itself.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:44PM (#46399089)

    There have been plenty of pro-Russian commenters on Slashdot over the last couple of days defending the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    I expect that will continue.

    It makes for an interesting change in the tone of discussions. Many of the first to cry "imperialism" or some such when the US does anything don't seem to be kicking up much of a fuss. The new would-be overlords of Ukraine seem to be meeting with either approval or acquiesce.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:51PM (#46399211) Journal

    I was referring to the insults being directed Ukraine's way as being particularly offensive, not the other way around, though of course there are few worse things you can call a Russian than 'fascist'.

    As far as the comparison, it's not all that apt. Russia in 2014 is a vastly different place than 1938's Germany, Putin is not Hitler, the Crimea is not the Sudetenland, and the other Great Powers have not signed off on his actions.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:55PM (#46399281)
    Read up on this little thing called Anschluss that took place prior to the start of World War II. Nazi Germany essentially annexed by force (rigged plebescite backed by threat of force) Austria, and took over the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia under the guise of "protecting" and "liberating" it's German-speaking citizens. It should be ironic to anyone with a knowledge of history that Russia is embarking on a course very similar to one that ultimately led to the deaths of millions of Russian citizens (and Ukrainian citizens as well).

    There is also the fact that the troops Russia sent in were all wearing masks, had no identifying insignia of any kind on their uniforms, and appear to be well equipped and highly trained. To me, it seems that Putin has likely taken the ouster of his lapdog and the loss of a potential client state personal. He has also quickly eroded any international goodwill Russia might have obtained by taking in Snowden, as well as potentially set a dangerous precident by saying Russia has a right and duty to protect the Russian-speaking people in the Crimea. Can Germany now do the same thing? How about the US? Does Iran now have the right to invade the US to protect Persian-speaking people? Putin is playing a dangerous game, and he is really exhibiting a lot of the characteristics Hitler and even Stalin did, including the cult of personality over the last few years.

  • Not Quite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:55PM (#46399291) Journal

    Russia is in charge now of the entire ex-Soviet Union area.

    Not quite. NATO isn't likely to roll over and accept aggression directed at Poland or the Baltic States (boy, I bet they're happy they got admitted now) and I suspect even the EU would grow a spine if Russia started pushing Finland around.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:58PM (#46399333) Journal

    There was a parliamentary vote to impeach him. At least by the English translation of Ukraine's constitution that I read, that's how it's done. Sure the lawmakers may have felt a lot of pressure to do so, but the forms were obeyed, even if in a ragged and somewhat bloody way.

  • by Carewolf (581105) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @03:09PM (#46399489) Homepage

    No, the parliament threw him out. The mob never did anything but protest and get shot at, until members of his own former party stopped supporting him, making room for a majority against him. The new government is as legally elected as the former! There was never any revolution, just protests, that triggered insane behavior from the president that let to him losing his parliamentarian basis.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @03:10PM (#46399515) Journal

    And yes, the US did take control of cell networks to track phones and calls in Afghanistan and Iraq to find and eliminate those who fought the US invasions of those countries

    Afghanistan had a cellular network in 2001?

    It's debatable that the United States invaded Afghanistan. We were invited there by what used to be called the Northern Alliance, a group that was the near-universally recognized government (held the UN seat, was recognized by everyone except Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Pakistan) of the country. Even if you want to call it an invasion it was certainly a justified one, given that the de-facto Government had provided refuge to a group that murdered nearly 3,000 American citizens.

    We've made a lot of mistakes there, trying to build a modern Democracy in a country with a literacy rate in the 20-30% range heads the list, but I do wish people would stop conflating Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @03:28PM (#46399755) Journal

    By the same token, justifying one dubious or illegal act by bringing up another strikes me as a pretty flawed argument. That the US invaded Iraq in 2003 doesn't mean Russia invading Ukraine in 2014 is appropriate.

    This is exactly the tit-for-tat Great Power games that lead to WWI... The US, I think, has come to deeply regret the Iraq invasion, which happened a decade ago under an entirely different Administration.

    If only nations as pure as the driven snow could call out infamous acts by other nations, there would be virtually no one to complain.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @04:27PM (#46400465) Journal

    I think you misunderstand me. Frankly I think Russia's annexation of Crimea is a fait accompli, and I think the EU and the US knew it all along. They're gamble, I suspect, is that Crimea will be sufficient coin to buy Russia's acquiescence to the rest of Ukraine moving westward (so to speak). It strikes me that that is Russia's view as well, as it seems to have contented itself with putting Russian forces in a position to negate any real action by Ukraine military forces.

    In other words, I'm not blind to real politik. At the same time, territorial integrity has been a rather large theme in the international sphere since the Allied Powers agreed to the creation of the United Nations during WWII. Sure, it hasn't been uniformly applied; there have been effective secessions, civil wars and the like, but in general, the idea of military forces entering a region of a sovereign state and annexing it has been viewed as a breach of international peace. In the case of Crimea, Russia was a signatory to an agreement guaranteeing Ukraine's territorial integrity in exchange for Ukraine giving up the nuclear arsenal that it had inherited after the collapse of the USSR, so I think it's pretty firm that the occupation of Crimea and the clear intent to annex it into the Russian Federation breaks international law on a number of counts.

    But, as I said, I think it's a fait accompli, and I think the end of this story was written weeks, if not months ago. Russia will agree to restrict itself to "protecting" Crimea. There will be a referendum in Crimea that will inevitably lead to Crimea either being annexed proper into Russia, or being given a sufficiently strong autonomous status that Ukraine will permanently lose it. The forms of diplomacy have to be obeyed, so Western leaders and foreign ministers will wring their hands and cry foul, even though everyone knew how this would end.

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