After invading Ukraine on land and bombing our homes from the air, russian forces have also started hacking state digital systems and spreading disinformation.
That’s what motivated our Technological R&D Lead — Sergii Kryvoblotskyi — to develop a tool that analyses where the apps you’re using take your data. At first, the idea was to help Ukrainians protect their online data from russian law enforcement agencies, but then we’ve decided that all macOS users worldwide could use it.
Where did it all begin
When russia started a full-scale war against Ukraine, MacPaw was prepared and focused on providing for our employees’ physical and digital safety — taking the provision of humanitarian aid through our Fund as the next step.
However, we were not alone in our efforts. All macpawians in safety began applying their knowledge and resources to help resist the war by volunteering, joining the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and spreading truthful information about the war.
Our Tech R&D Lead — Sergii Kryvoblotskyi — has extensive experience in data protection. When he saw Ukrainian digital infrastructure suffering numerous cyberattacks, he decided to take action:
“As a Tech R&D team before the war, we did a lot of research. So I began to check which of them could contribute to the country’s informational security. One of these researches was about the technical implementation of network filtering on macOS. I’ve realized it could be well-applied to protecting computers from potentially dangerous apps and adapted to help users in our new reality.”
Why protecting your data is crucial in these unstable times
You may not know it, but in July 2016, russia enforced Federal bills No. 374-FZ and 375-FZ, which require telecom providers to store the content of voice calls, data, images, and text messages on russian servers for 6 months, and their metadata (e.g., time, location, message sender, and recipients) for 3 years. Online services such as messengers, emails, and social networks that use encrypted data are required to permit the Federal Security Service (FSB) to access and read their encrypted communications.
It means that all internet and telecom companies that have some presence in russia are obliged to disclose these communications and metadata and “all other information necessary” to authorities on request without a court order. Now FSB can simply call a local office of any tech company, and bam — they have access to your photos and text history.
Read more on PacPaw Blog How SpyBuster helps with that