It’s hard to tell if we’re nearing the apocalyptic end times described in every ancient text, or just a really bad bout of Boomers going through the world’s deadliest later-life crisis. As you H0Rs know, we like to keep things vague and convoluted to ensure no one knows where we stand on any issue. But there’s no nuance to see here, just an aggressive dictator super violating the sovereignty of another nation. So, today, we’re shining our spotlight on the hackers fighting back — which, turns out, could be you.
HackenProof is a bug bounty service, and friend of the newsletter, whose purpose is to provide ethical hacking services to businesses and brands. It’s basically the very online equivalent of banks hiring safe crackers and check forgers to identify points of failure in the existing system in order to make them stronger.
As of last week, the Ukrainian-based business has leveraged their defensive capabilities to launch an offensive on Russian propaganda sites. So, what does it mean to launch a cyber-attack? To start, they’ve raised an army of decidedly non-Russian bots to overload Kremlin servers — an unqualified success in the short term. But bot-swarming can be expensive and easy to defend against, which is where the HackenProof team comes in. Cyber-attacks also rely on identifying exploits, which means inspecting all available public code related to the digital property and seeing if you can use its functions in ways other than intended, hoping to cause the systems to bug-out and go offline like a corrupt video game cartridge.
While cyber warfare has its limitations in the face of kinetic warfare, it serves a crucial purpose here, as Russian-sponsored media outlets spread disinformation to their own citizens, gaslighting them into believing that this invasion of Ukraine is actually a response to Western aggression. With the looming possibility of nuclear consequences, the hope is to force the soldiers from Russia and Belarus, with their fingers on the big red button, to face the facts — peace and sovereignty are the desired outcome, not mutually assured destruction.
If you, too, are interested in averting nuclear war, you can run an app node to help overload these Russian websites yourself, using Disbalancer, another Ukrainian cybersecurity firm. The size of the attack vector is crucial, so the more contributors, the higher likelihood of success. I’m running it myself as I type, so it’s certified n00b friendly. But if you need extra hand holding, here’s an IRL friendly resource website detailing actionable ways for foreigners to support Ukraine.
If we make it through our latest self-inflicted stab at rapture, remember the heroes at HackenProof, who can help protect your business the same way they are working to protect an entire nation. In the meantime?