As the fighting in Ukraine escalates and it looks like Russia won’t have the quick and easy victory it anticipated, the war is already having spill-over effects.
In the physical world, that means a flood of refugees escaping the conflict and its economic effects such as spikes in oil prices. A lot of the damage is to Russia itself, with harsh economic sanctions putting its financial system under extreme strain.
In the cyber arena, most of the damage so far has been inside Ukraine and, in retaliation, there have been some nuisance attacks against Russian targets. But that is likely to change, especially as Europe, the US, and other countries step up their sanctions against Russia.
“I fully expect there will be more cyberattacks against Ukraine, and that it will spill over,” said Rahul Telang, professor of information systems at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. “If the US takes steps against Russian financial interests, you cannot deny that something like that can happen.”
Russia has a long history of using cyber attacks against its enemies. In 2007, Russian hackers disabled Estonia’s Internet and launched Denial of Service attacks on government offices and financial institutions – all because the country wanted to move a World War II memorial.