"Ukrainian cybercommunity! It's time to get involved in the cyber defense of our country," the Cyber Unit Technologies co-founder Yegor Aushev wrote on hacker forums at the request of the government and asked hackers and cybersecurity experts to submit an application via Google docs, listing their specialties and professional references.
Aushev said that the volunteers will be divided into defensive and offensive cyber units. The first one will be employed to defend strategic infrastructures such as power plants and water systems, which suffered previous cyberattacks allegedly attributed to Russian hackers in 2015.
The offensive volunteer unit will help Ukraine's military conduct digital espionage operations against Russian forces. "We have an army inside our country. We need to know what they are doing," Aushev insisted in referring to the Russian special military operation to counteract the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansion to eastern Europe.
On Wednesday, researchers at the cybersecurity firm ESET found a piece of destructive software hitting hundreds of computers of Ukrainian government agencies. Suspicion immediately fell on Russia, which yet denies all allegations.
Aushev acknowledged that Ukraine had no dedicated military cyber force and that it was de Defense Ministry’s task to create them this year.
On late Thursday night, Aushev said that he has already received hundreds of applicants and that he was going to begin vetting to ensure that none of them were Russian agents.