DeepSec 2022 Talk: Ukrainian-Russian Warfare In Cyberspace: Technological And Psychological Aspects – Sergiy Gnatyuk

Sanna/ October 19, 2022/ Conference

On 24th of February, 2022, the life of Ukrainians has changed fundamentally. Russian troops attacked peaceful Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure, using all possible means and bridgeheads – land, sea, air and cyberspace. Predictably, given the technological conditions, the cyberspace has become one of the main arenas of combat in this war. Powerful cyber-attacks (more than 1,100 attacks so far) on the state’s critical information infrastructure were accompanied by destructive information and psychological effects and special psychological operations (PSYOP). However, as in other domains, Ukraine persevered in cyberspace, fought back and counterattacked the enemy.

At DeepSec up-to-date information on the specifics of cyber-attacks on the technological infrastructures (DoS-attacks, malicious software, unauthorized data collection, etc.) will be presented and analyzed, as well as attacks on the population (mis- and disinformation, deep fakes, etc.). Current initiatives and projects developed by the state (SSSCIP, CERT-UA, Cyber Police) together with IT and cyber volunteers to consolidate efforts and counter Russian aggression in cyberspace will be considered. Current cyber projects of NAU Cybersecurity R&D Lab and the Scientific Cyber Security Association of Ukraine will be also presented and discussed.

We asked Sergiy Gnatyuk a few more questions about his talk.

Please tell us the top 5 facts about your talk.

My talk is devoted to the Ukrainian-Russian cyber war, which began in 2014 (but in fact – much, much earlier) and continues to this day. It can be said with confidence that cyberspace is a full-fledged and self-sufficient bridgehead for warfare in the 21st century. It is also necessary to remember that along with the protection of technical infrastructure, it is necessary to protect citizens from destructive psychological influences. Influences in cyberspace reinforce actions in physical space and can give a global advantage over the enemy. War is the art of lying, and cyberspace is an advanced channel for delivering those lies to the end user.

How did you come up with it? Was there something like an initial spark that set your mind on creating this talk?

This cyber war is happening right in front of my eyes. For a long time, I have participated in educational activities and scientific projects related to improving the security of my state in cyberspace. The DeepSec conference is an excellent way to convey this information to the international community.

Why do you think this is an important topic?

Today, more and more government services are becoming electronic and, accordingly, becoming vulnerable to cyber threats. Without paying the necessary attention to the protection of its resources, the state can suffer significant losses as a result of cyber-attacks. It is also important to remember that attacks on technical infrastructure with destructive information-psychological influences can cause a synergistic effect and cause irreparable damage to the state’s infrastructure.

Is there something you want everybody to know – some good advice for our readers maybe?

In the 21st century, warfare uses cyberspace in one row with traditional means and bridgeheads such as land, sea, and air (space)!

A prediction for the future – what do you think will be the next innovations or future downfalls when it comes to your field of expertise / the topic of your talk in particular?

Unfortunately, in cyberspace, the defense side is always a few steps behind. Therefore, when implementing modern ICT services in various industries (and especially in the critical infrastructure of the state), we should not forget about cyber security. Otherwise, sooner or later the enemy will definitely take advantage of it. The enemy never sleeps!


Sergiy Gnatyuk holds a PhD and DSc (second academic research degree in Ukraine) in Cyber Security, he is a Professor in Computer Science. Sergiy is a Professor and the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Cybersecurity, Computer and Software Engineering at National Aviation University as well as Scientific Advisor of the NAU Cybersecurity R&D Lab Dr. Gnatyuk is Co-Founder and President of the Scientific Cyber Security Association of Ukraine (SCSA-UA) Also, Sergiy is a Cyber Security expert and consultant for state and private Ukrainian and international organizations. He is a speaker and organizer of many international cyber security events as well as an author of many books, patents and papers. Main research interests are cyber security, cryptography, QKD, 5G security, incidents response, CIIP and others.

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