Russian-Based Cyber Actors: A 12-Month Forecast

Current political tensions and military conflicts, particularly related to the Russia-Ukraine war, have resulted in increased cyberattacks across the globe. Traditionally, Russian state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups make Russia one of the strongest cyberspace actors. However, smaller financially or politically motivated groups are also increasingly contributing to espionage, disinformation, and military warfare. The nature of these cyber attacks has also become more destructive. This is because they focus not only on publishing data but disrupting essential and critical infrastructure (source). The escalation of multiple conflicts around the world, increased competition for resources, and rising geopolitical tensions are all crucial factors affecting the evolving threat that Russian-based cyber actors pose to the world.

Key Judgement 1. It is highly likely that Russian cyberattacks will increase as the Russia-Ukraine war escalates over the next 12 months.

 Key Judgement 2. It is likely that links between Russian-based cyber actors and Russian intelligence services will strengthen further in the face of heightening geopolitical tensions, in the next 12 months.

 Key Judgement 3. It is likely that Russian-based cyber actors will increase their focus on spreading disinformation in the US, UK, and Europe, over the next 12 months.

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