Cyber Berkut, a group of hacktivists based in Ukraine, has claimed responsibility for taking down several NATO sites recently. The group apparently did this as a retaliation to NATO’s intents of bringing Ukraine into its fold.
Ukraine, at large, is a fairly complex geopolitical region right now. Crimea, the area that is effectively in the grasp of Russia, is due to vote for the secession of Crimea from Ukraine. This would cement Russia’s hold over Crimea where a majority of the populace comprises of Russians.
Ukraine, on the other hand, has been looking to the Western powers for help. It has denounced the Russian invasion of Crimea and now seeks to join hands with NATO. Such an alliance will help the country save itself from any future possibility of Russian aggression.
The role of Cyber Berkut in this whole conflict has been quite interesting. First the group launched numerous attacks on Russian sites to avenge the loss of Crimea. It has now shifted its focus and claims that it has successfully taken down a number of NATO sites. This, it says, was done because it wants NATO to stay away from Ukraine.
Cyber warfare has heated up in the region since Russia made its Crimean move. Russian side has also been active on the cyber front, taking down many sites and blocking others. Ukraine, although a small country, has its own cyber warriors up in arms. Regardless of how effective they actually are, the instance is a reminder that cyber warfare is fast becoming an essential part of real-world conflicts.