Alert - Risk of malicious cyber activity against Ukraine-aligned nations

Number: AL23-001
Date: February 24, 2023


This Alert is intended for IT professionals and managers of notified organizations.


An Alert is used to raise awareness of a recently identified cyber threat that may impact cyber information assets, and to provide additional detection and mitigation advice to recipients. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) is also available to provide additional assistance regarding the content of this Alert to recipients as requested.


The Cyber Centre is urging Canadian organizations to be vigilant and prepared for potential malicious cyber activity following the one-year mark of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The Cyber Centre would like to specifically warn Canadian organizations and critical infrastructure operators to be prepared for the possible disruption, defacement, and attempted exploitation of Canadian network assets by cyber threat actors aligned with Russian interests.

On February 23, 2023, CISA published an AlertFootnote 1 urging organizations and individuals to increase their cyber vigilance and have provided their assessment that Ukraine-aligned countries may experience disruptive and defacement attacks against websites on February 24, 2023, the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. CISA has provided several recommendations for their constituents of which the Cyber Centre also recommends the following:

  • Increasing organizational vigilance
  • Implementing cybersecurity best practices
  • Increasing resilience and preparing for rapid response
  • Lowering the threshold for threat and information sharing

The Cyber Centre is aware that Russia-aligned actors have conducted Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) campaigns towards Ukraine-aligned nations and recommends the following guidance to better protect Canadian organizations.

Protecting your organization against denial of service attacks - ITSAP.80.100

The Cyber Centre encourages Canadian organizations to review their security posture and to ensure security controls are effective and in place. See recommended actions for further guidance.

Recommended actions

The Cyber Centre recommends organizations:

  • Review the following joint publications which may help organizations detect and mitigate threats outlined in this report. Footnote 2Footnote 3
  • Review perimeter systems to determine if related activity has occurred or how to better prepare for potential malicious activity.
  • Report any cyber incidents to the Cyber Centre which may be associated with threats outlined in this report.

In addition, the Cyber Centre strongly recommends that organizations review and implement the Cyber Centre’s Top 10 IT Security ActionsFootnote 4 with an emphasis on the following topics:

  • Consolidate, monitor, and defend Internet gateways
  • Isolate web-facing applications
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