Cybersecurity firm Bitdefender is teaming up with Romania’s National Cyber Security Directorate (DNSC) to help Ukraine as it tries to survive the recent Russian invasion.
In an official, joint statement, the two organizations said they will provide cybersecurity expertise, threat intelligence, and technology (such as antivirus solutions, for example), at no charge, to anyone supporting the people of Ukraine and its allies.
Bitdefender cybersecurity technologies will also be provided free of charge for a full year to any NATO or EU-based company or public entity that wants to replace its current endpoint protection software that present “trust concerns” from a technical, or geopolitical perspective (read: cybersecurity solutions tied with Russia and its allies).
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Third World War?
“Romania considers that cyberspace must be secure and resilient, and no geopolitical or military interests should affect the lives of people and their business,” the statement reads. “We invite all NATO and European Union member states to contribute to this endeavor.”
While the move may be triggered by the recent war in Ukraine, in reality, Russia has been engaged in active cyber-warfare for quite some time now. In fact, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s international information security director, Alexander Krutskikh, speaking at a political science conference late last year, described the events as “World War III”.
“The media rightly says that this [is] a Third World War, and what matters now is to calculate the damage and determine who will lose it in the end and what shape the world will eventually acquire as a result of this war,” The Washington Examiner cited the official as saying
In this war, Russia seems to be weaponizing ransomware operations quite well. Earlier this month, market analysts Chainalysis warned that most of the money made from ransomware operations ends up in the hands of Russian-speaking threat actors.
Chainalysis says 74% of all money stolen through ransom demands in 2021 went to threat actors linked to Russia, in one way or another - equivalent to more than $400 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
One of Russia’s most popular ransomware groups, Conti, has also recently seen 60,000 of its chat messages leaked by Ukrainian cybersecurity researchers.
“We are deeply saddened by the unprovoked brutal act of war against the free people of Ukraine and are committed to doing what we can to support them and our NATO allies,” said Florin Talpes co-founder and CEO of Bitdefender. "As proud Romanians and a company of global citizens, we stand with our northern neighbors who bravely fight for their future.”
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.