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Meet the IT Army of Ukraine, the army of volunteers working to hack Russian sites The call for "crowdhacking" was made by Ukraine's minister for digital transformation and boy has it worked...

This article was translated from our Spanish edition.

naito8 | Getty Images

Wars in 2022 cannot be fought as they were 100 years ago. Wow, not even like it was a decade ago. Things have changed and aggressions do not only happen on the battlefield, but also in the digital spaces on which the communication of a country depends to a great extent today. What we know is that in addition to the soldiers fighting on the front lines, there is an army of programmers and hackers . who have come together from various parts of the world to launch an offensive against Russian sites.

The group goes by the name IT Army of Ukraine and was formed by Mykhailo Fedorov , Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation. On February 26, the young 31-year-old politician launched a call through his Twitter account with the following message: "We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.me/itarmyofurraine . There will be homework for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task for cyber specialists is already uploaded on the channel".

The league mentioned in the tweet directs a Telegram channel that already has more than 36,000 subscribers from different parts of the world who have joined the Ukrainian cause and who work to hinder day-to-day life in Russia by hacking various sites (especially all government). Reports from the Wall Street Journal report that more than 400,000 may have joined the cause and according to NetBlocks , a company dedicated to monitoring the operation of sites around the world, various pages linked to the Russian government have suffered constant interruptions since the conflict began.

CROWDHACKING, A NOVEL WEAPON

We are familiar with the term crowdfunding , a collaborative mechanism to raise funds using social networks and digital media. Fedorov's call makes visible an activity little known until now: crowdhacking , which consists of asking a community of developers to use their resources and knowledge to fulfill an objective in the digital environment; it is typically used to search for vulnerabilities on a given site. The so-called ethical hackers work together looking for how to penetrate the security systems of a page and then shield it. This war has made visible a practice that is regularly carried out anonymously and that raises complex ethical questions, but it is a reality: penetrating the security systems of a page to disable it.

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