Some of the best VPN providers are reacting to the Ukrainian crisis by offering free cybersecurity tools to journalists working in the country.
ProtonVPN has committed to donating 10% of their revenue from new subscriptions (opens in new tab) - either for its VPN or ProtonMail accounts - to relief efforts in Ukraine. It also pledges support to affected journalists within the country.
In a tweet (opens in new tab), ExpressVPN reminded its audience of its Press Room (opens in new tab) project open to journalists, civic society and non-profit organizations seeking safer internet connections.
Other providers are offering more bandwidth data from free plans. TunnelBear has boosted its network to 10GB for users connecting from Ukraine (opens in new tab), while Windscribe called for journalists to contact the service for more connection data (opens in new tab) free of charge.
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Other cybersecurity players are also stepping forward in the name of safe and fair information.
VPN and antivirus software provider Bitdefender joined forces with Romania’s National Cyber Security Directorate (DNSC) to provide free cybersecurity expertise and technology to anyone supporting the people of Ukraine and its allies.
Since the conflict started on February 24, US computer security expert Runa Sandvik has also been offering digital safety tools to journalists reporting from Ukraine at no cost.
If you’re choosing to stay in Ukraine and report on what’s happening, I’m happy to discuss physical and digital safety with you pro bono. Email me at runa dot sandvik at gmail. 🇺🇦🔐February 24, 2022
Ukraine/Russia cyber-war: Latest developments
Within the cyberspace, Russia has long been an active player.
According to the Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report published last October, 58% of all cyberattacks from nation-states have come from Russia. An increase of 50% from the previous year in actions targeting government intelligence gathering agencies has also been observed. The US, UK and Ukraine were the most affected.
A few days before the first Russian missiles struck on Ukrainian cities, internet watchdog NetBlocks (opens in new tab) confirmed the loss of connectivity to Ukraine's State Savings Bank, Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces networks.
Ukrainian citizens are reacting though, and not just in the streets.
Backed up by Kyiv officials, the IT Army of Ukraine (opens in new tab) is a community of hackers fighting back the invasion digitally. Through their Telegram channel, the volunteers are distributing targets and tasks. They have already claimed some actions at Moscow Exchange and Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, as Forbes reported (opens in new tab).
Finally, the famous group of hackers Anonymous has declared war on the Kremlin. Hacktivists have already attacked Russian propaganda machine, spreading their messages on several media websites and TV channels.