Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Video

Disinformation Rages in Russian Cyber Winter of Discontent

CISO Ian Thornton-Trump on Information Warfare, Disruptive Cyberattacks, Patching
Ian Thornton-Trump, CISO, Cyjax, and CyberEdBoard member

What's in store this winter as Russia's war of conquest in Ukraine continues, and to what extent might cyberattacks reshape the landscape? "We see an ongoing conflict with little strategic movement," said Ian Thornton-Trump, CISO of Cyjax.

Detailing takeaways from a new research report from Cyjax, "The Cyber Winter of Discontent," he expects to see Russia continue to use every tool possible - including destructive malware, kinetic attacks and information operations - to target Ukraine's critical national information, social fabric and Western support.

Moscow seems to have realized that its center of strength against Ukrainian allies centers on "disinformation campaigns that they can release, not to mention the ability to disrupt the daily lives of citizens of the G20," while also "painting the picture of incompetent governments that can't protect from the Russian might," he said.

Cue Russia or aligned hacktivist groups - which may be government-funded - claiming to disrupt Western critical national infrastructure, from airports to hospitals, oftentimes offering no proof to substantiate their assertions.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Thornton-Trump also discussed:

  • The role of hacktivists and ransomware groups as Russian proxy forces;
  • The increasing likelihood of a failed Russian state and the post-Putin geopolitical implications.
  • Why locking down internet-exposed endpoints and bolstering trust in supply chains remain such challenging yet essential defenses.

At Cyjax, Thornton-Trump performs real-time analysis of immediate threats and keeps abreast of developing security threats. Previously, he was CTO at Octopi Managed Services. His previous experience includes serving with the Military Intelligence Branch of the Canadian Forces, later joining the CF Military Police Reserves and retiring as a public affairs officer in 2013. After a year with the RCMP as a criminal intelligence analyst, he began working as a cybersecurity analyst/consultant for multinational insurance, banking and regional healthcare firms. Thornton-Trump also teaches cybersecurity and IT business courses for CompTIA as part of its global faculty. He is a member of the CyberEdBoard.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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