Dreaded in the cyber war, Russia has not used its digital weapons as effectively as expected against Ukraine, but experts urge us not to let our guard down.

On Wednesday morning, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, responsible for digital, explained that Russian power in cyberspace had proved far below expectations in the war against his country.

“The myth of the strength of the Russian cyber army, which the whole world was afraid of, has been shattered,” he said in a remote press conference, on the occasion of a meeting of cybersecurity experts in Paris.

“There is not a single significant victory of the Russians” in the cyber dimension of the conflict, in any case with regard to the “banking system”, “critical infrastructures” or “information infrastructures”, a- he said.

The Ukrainians, for their part, are flattered to have succeeded in a few blows, such as the crash at the beginning of the week of the Russian equivalent of YouTube, RuTube.

“We will only be able to talk about the real results, the real successes […] after the war” because “it would be counterproductive to reveal them now”, Mr. Fedorov added.

He also highlighted Ukraine’s ability to use digital to continue to function as a state.

This feat was achieved thanks in particular to its Diaa application, accessible on smartphones, which allows the population to stay in contact with the administration, even in combat zones.

For example, Ukrainians can declare “the damage caused to their house” by sending photos to initiate the compensation procedure, he explained.

Eastern European government officials present at the Paris conference, however, qualified Kyiv’s discourse.

“It’s true that, for the moment, we haven’t seen anything very spectacular” from the Russians, Dan Cimpean, a senior Romanian official in charge of national cybersecurity, told AFP. .

“The tools and procedures for attacks were already seen” but “this may be a false impression” and Western countries had an interest in “remaining very careful” and “collaborating closely”, he continued. .

“In the cyber field, as in the real field, the Russians have probably chosen the wrong strategy by trying to do too many things at the same time,” Margiris Abukevicius, Lithuania’s deputy minister of health, told AFP. Defense.

“As things stand, we, the neighboring states of Ukraine, have no reason to feel more secure in terms of cybersecurity or to think that we will have fewer attacks,” he warned. .

For his part, Rastislav Janota, a senior Slovak cybersecurity official, said that Russia was not giving up, particularly at the moment seeking to recruit cyber-mercenaries “from all over the world”.

“Things that cannot be seen today can happen that will only reveal themselves tomorrow,” he said.

The Russians are also waging information warfare outside Ukraine “to influence public opinion,” and “they are pretty good at it,” he said.

For Julien Nocetti, researcher at Ifri (French Institute of International Relations), Mr. Fedorov’s very optimistic speech reflects a constant strategy of the Ukrainian authorities in recent weeks.

Kyiv wants to show “that Russia can be beaten on its home turf” of cyber and information warfare, that it is possible to dispel “that halo around a super powerful Russia in cyberspace”, he said. explained to AFP.

The Ukrainians seek to demonstrate that, for the Russians, “scaring was as important as having real capabilities”, he added.



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