Editor’s note: Today Microsoft published a new intelligence report , Defending Ukraine: Early Lessons from the Cyber War . This report represents research conducted by Microsoft’s threat intelligence and data science teams with the goal of sharpening our understanding of the threat landscape in the ongoing war in Ukraine. The report also offers a series of lessons and conclusions resulting from the data gathered and analyzed. Notably, the report reveals new information about Russian efforts including an increase in network penetration and espionage activities amongst allied governments, non-profits and other organizations outside Ukraine. This report also unveils detail about sophisticated and widespread Russian foreign influence operations being used among other things, to undermine Western unity and bolster their war efforts. We are seeing these foreign influence operations enacted in force in a coordinated fashion along with the full range of cyber destructive and espionage campaigns. Finally, the report calls for a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to strengthen collective defenses – a task that will require the private sector, public sector, nonprofits and civil society to come together. The foreword of this new report, written by Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith, offers additional detail below.
The recorded history of every war typically includes an account of the first shots fired and who witnessed them. Each account provides a glimpse not just into the start of a war, but the nature of the era in which people lived.