Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine (February 2022), hackers have become more active on a global scale. The clashes between Russian and Ukrainian “cyber armies” are at its central front line. Russian Hackers and the War in Ukraine: Digital Threats and Real-World Consequences scrutinizes the unique situation where cyber criminals, who usually operate clandestinely, have surfaced and looked for public attention and approval. This book does not cover technical aspects of hacking. Instead, it scrutinizes the public activity of Russian hacker groups including building their brand, communicating with supporters, their financial situation, and other crucial aspects. This research draws mainly on open sources such as social media entries comprised of texts, videos, images, and chat comments which were collected through daily monitoring of the hacking groups’ activities.
Julia Sweet received her PhD in global affairs from Rutgers University, NJ. She has published several articles and repeatedly participated in conferences, presenting research about disinformation, fake news, social movements, terrorist marketing strategies, the financing of terrorism, and cybercrime. Her research was supported by the Jordan Center, NYU, and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. In 2014-2023, she created numerous reports on nationalist and extremist organizations circulated in Russian and European cyberspace, many of which prepared or committed terrible terrorist attacks in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Russia, and other states.
Chapter 1. Hackers’ Attacks on Russia
Chapter 2. Hacker Organizations: Active and Dangerous or Childish and Annoying
Chapter 3. Russian Hackers: Social Media Presence and Brand Building
Chapter 4. Hackers Gather Public Trust and Recognition
Chapter 5. Hackers’ Attacks: Who Is a main target - Ukraine, Europe, or the United States?
About the Author
Julia Sweet provides a timely, thorough, and detailed expert analysis of the cyber dimension to today’s geopolitical conflicts. Her research is innovative, deeply empirical, and incisive, bringing insights into how hackers and cyber criminals operate in political conflict situations, particularly the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This is a must-read for anyone interested in cyber security and its implications on how we view and conceptualize conflict.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has forced the world to confront old problems we thought had been settled—European stability, imperialist aggression, trench warfare but has also made us face new and potentially devastating challenges which come under the label of cyber-warfare. Julia Sweet’s book introduces us to the world of hacker organizations, particularly in Russia, which has been active for years on the international scene but is now coming into its own in terms of its disruptive intelligence, military, and public opinion capabilities. No one who wants to understand where warfare is going can afford to miss this thoroughly researched work, written by a scholar deeply familiar with the Russian scene.
Julia Sweet’s latest book is not only informative but also important in recognizing the ideological shift hackers have made from remaining anonymous to seeking fame and building a fan following. A must-read for anyone looking to understand the theatre of cyberspace and the Russian-Ukraine War.