Russian cyber-attacks against Ukraine saw a significant increase in the first half of 2023, as reported by Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP)  . This surge marks a 123% rise compared to the second half of 2022 .
During H1 2023 , Ukraine’s SSSCIP reported a total of 762 cyber-attack incidents, indicating a substantial escalation. However, it is worth noting that the attacks were less successful, with critical incidents decreasing by 81% and incidents with impact dropping by 48% compared to H2 2022 .
Yurii Shchyhol , the head of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection  , has observed a shift in Russian hackers’ focus. They have moved away from targeting energy facilities and are now targeting Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. Their objective is to gain access to war crime evidence. This change in direction was detected in the first half of 2023 . The hackers aim to gather information about Ukrainian investigations into war crimes and counter-intelligence efforts .
Furthermore, the report highlights that Russian military commanders are directing cyber units to collect evidence that could be used against Russian spies . These activities are believed to be carried out by groups affiliated with Russia’s GRU and FSB intelligence agencies.
The increase in Russian cyber-attacks against Ukraine in H1 2023 poses significant challenges. While the number of incidents has risen, the decrease in critical incidents and incidents with impact suggests that Ukraine’s efforts to enhance cybersecurity measures have been effective to some extent.
However, the shift in focus towards Ukrainian law enforcement agencies raises concerns about the potential compromise of war crime evidence and counter-intelligence efforts. It is crucial for Ukraine to strengthen its defenses and collaborate with international partners to mitigate the risks posed by these cyber-attacks.
Moreover, the involvement of Russian military commanders in directing cyber units highlights the strategic nature of these attacks. This underscores the need for increased vigilance and proactive measures to protect against future cyber threats.
Overall, the findings of the report indicate the evolving tactics and objectives of Russian cyber-attacks against Ukraine. It is imperative for Ukraine to continue investing in cybersecurity capabilities and international cooperation to safeguard its critical infrastructure and national security.