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Armed masked men who call themselves members of Ukraine's disbanded elite Berkut riot police force stand at their checkpoint under a Russian flag on a highway that connect Black Sea Crimea peninsula to mainland Ukraine near the city of Armyansk, on February 28, 2014.

Russia’s multilayered cyber assaults know no bounds.

Lessons from Ukraine

January 2018, Number 09.01

“Innovation has driven military strategy since the dawn of humanity. The inventions of gunpowder, the rifle-barreled gun and the combustion engine had huge impacts not only on military strategy, but on all of history. The 20th century was no exception. The evolving internet continues to expand the capacities of information technologies. But, as with other great inventions, its capabilities have frequently been used for negative purposes. The first computer viruses were created just for fun, but served as a warning for some and a criminal road map for others —cyber espionage, cyber attacks and identity theft are common now. However, there is a new aspect to the cyber threat.

On December 23, 2015, unknown hackers disconnected about 30 electrical substations in Ukraine, cutting power for about 250,000 people in the middle of a freezing winter. Before that night, no one had ever used cyber attacks against civilian critical infrastructure without an obvious monetary benefit. We now face a new threat with tremendous military and geopolitical potential. Within a short span of time, a single exploitation of systems vulnerabilities has evolved into an effective toolkit of hybrid capabilities with which to pursue a given geopolitical agenda...”

Excerpt from Viktor Lisakonov, “Lessons from Ukraine,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  9, No. 1, 2018: 6-13.

Col. Viktor Lisakonov, a graduate of PCSS 17-04, serves as the Chief of the Information Assurance Directorate, Ukrainian General Staff.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.