As the war in Ukraine rages, Russian strategists are taking the battle online in a bid to turn the tide
Russia has made slow progress in its attempt to conquer Ukraine.
Growing military failures and unexpected resistance from Ukrainian fighters have slowed the progress of President Putin’s campaign.
Russia faces the prospect of further EU sanctions, as well as growing discontent in the country over the slow progress of the conflict.
US military veteran Ricoh Danielson told Ticker NEWS the Russian military desperately needed victory.
He says the troops need some success to maintain morale, which the “demoralized” Russian army currently lacks.
“A battalion actually…runs on morale and well-being,” he says.
But Danielson says the offense is slowly becoming more organized.
“They are slowly moving towards a more strategic and also defensive posture to get more real estate. And that’s kind of what they do, they slow down, they get into these big slow machines and get what they need.
Ricoh Danielson, US Army Veteran
For this reason, Danielson expects the war to gradually get worse.
“We’ll probably see more strategic maneuvering from Russia, we’ll probably see a lot more aggression.”
Increase in threat actors
One method Russia can use to escalate the war is to increase the number of threat actors in operation.
A threat actor is a person or group that attempts to attack elements of the cyber world, including computers, online systems, and networks.
Danielson says there has been “a slight increase” in the number of Russian threat actors since the war began.
He says Russian threat actors can target anything from critical infrastructure to government networks.
Recently, it has been proven that they specifically target the financial sector to cause damage and economic loss to their adversaries.
Since cyberattacks are not a traditional form of warfare, this means Russia can extend the reach of its offensive.
As they clash with Ukrainian threat actors, Danielson says Russia is “also launching attacks” against the United States and other countries.
He says they are trying to “cause damage to the countries…that participate in the sanctions”.
Nor does he rule out the possibility of Russia enlisting other nations to help it wage a global cyber war.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they go to some of their other known threat actors, such as North Korea and China, to fight with them. For the multiplication of forces.
Ricoh Danielson, US Army Veteran
According to Danielson, Russia has always been “number one” in terms of cyber warfare and tactics.
“They just dominate cyberspace.”
Ricoh Danielson, US Army veteran
They are also a big producer of malware and ransomware, which they use to target innocent civilians.
“You’re probably going to see an increase in ransomware as a service, which is when they try to extort money from you, to victimize you,” Danielson says.
They can also use traps to lure unsuspecting customers and consumers into accessing their company’s infrastructure.
Danielson also notes how Russia is targeting networks for critical infrastructure, such as those used for power plants, banks and schools, among others.
“He’s starting to show his ugly head again,” he says.
Bryan Hoadley contributed to this report