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The War Online

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The War Online

Two weeks ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, the war has taken a few dramatic and unexpected turns. And the kinetic war: bombs, bullets, missiles, etc, has elicited reaction by subtler electronic forms of warfare. Keyboard warriors play critical roles.

Why are Russia and Ukraine fighting? The history of the war explained and  timeline of the current conflict

Here are a few of the electronic responses to the invasion:

  • U S and E U bar Russia from the SWIFT banking system. SWIFT facilitates international transactions. The system secures and communicates account information. By barring Russia from it, the West thwarts her ability to operate globally. The ban will also keep Western investors from collecting $30 billion Russia owes them, of course. Some Western leaders, though, evidently consider the short term pain tolerable.
  • West drops RT and Sputnik RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik are state-owned media. DirecTV led the way, dropping both from its channel lineup. Apple followed by blocking both outlets from its devices in Europe. TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook then blocked all Russian state media in Europe.
  • Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook block access to certain accounts with links to Russia
  • Google, Apple, and Microsoft block RT and RT-related apps from their mobile stores
  • Netflix and Roku no longer carry Russian TV channels
  • War interrupts OneWeb satellite Launches The British and American firm had been launching its birds from Kazakhstan on Russia Soyuz-4 rockets. We don’t know when OneWeb will resume its regular launch schedule.
  • Russia blocks Twitter, tries to block TikTok, and ‘partially blocks’ Facebook
  • Hackers claim to have seized control of Russian spy satellites We haven’t been able to confirm this, and Russia’s space agency denies the claim. At any rate, a hacker group tweeted that it had “shut down the control center” of Roscosmos.” And the group said the Russians “have no more control over their own satellites.”

Could Russia retaliate?

Of course, Russia has its own electronic weapons, and multiple ways to escalate electronic war. It could steal information from government and industry, and is even suspected of hacking U.S. electrical grids.

Who can predict the long term outcome of the war? We certainly can’t.

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