DEFCON 30: Computer Hacks in the Russia-Ukraine War

Dr. Kenneth Geers, External Communications Analyst at Very Good Security, an Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative Senior Fellow, a NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence Ambassador, presented the report “Computer Hacks in the Russia-Ukraine War” at the DEF CON conference, one of the world’s largest and most notable hacker conventions, held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The research examined the publicly-known computer network operations during Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine in 2022, described pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine attacks, and sought to place them into geopolitical context.


  • Ukrainian communications were a key target on the opening day of the war. On Feb 24 (and then again on Mar 9), hackers penetrated Triolan, a major Ukrainian Internet service provider, and succeeded in resetting devices to factory settings.
  • China may be playing a double game: its state hackers were accused of conducting espionage against Ukraine and the West – but also against Russia and Belarus.
  • Or perhaps Ukrainian infrastructure – like the country itself – was simply too big, too diverse, and too connected to conquer.

Dig into the details of the research DEFCON 30: Computer Hacks in the Russia-Ukraine War