‘Whoever controls cyberspace will control the world’: Russian hackers waging cyber war on Ukraine ‘training’ for Western targets

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Ten minutes before the 2pm news broadcast on June 27, Vitaly Kovach, the editor of Ukraine’s channel 24, stood up and told his staff to immediately unplug their network cables.

The computers had frozen at the channel’s studio in Lviv, and an editor there had sent him a picture of what looked like a ransomware message.

But it was already too late to stop the virus from spreading: within minutes, 20 computers in the Kiev office were nonfunctional. The channel was under cyberattack.

“All the programmes froze, the video editing froze,” Mr Kovach recalled. “We were deaf, dumb and blind.”

Although international businesses were also compromised in the cyber attack, including the British advertising firm WPP, Ukraine was hit especially hard. More than 300 companies in the country would later say they were impacted.

According to Oleksii Yasinsky of the Kiev cybersecurity firm ISSP, Ukraine has become…

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