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tv   Billington Conference Discussion on Ukraine and Cybersecurity  CSPAN  September 15, 2022 8:01pm-8:47pm EDT

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cyber strategy and the challenges posed by russian's use of cyber warfare. ways to secure cyber infrastructure. i spoke at a conference hosted by billington cybersecurity. >> will now proceed to our opening general session panel. this entitled cyber lessons learned from ukraine. moderating our opening panel is jim lewis director for the strategic technology program at csis. on stage deputy minister of that ministry for the digital transformation of ukraine. and demetri cofounder and chairman of the silverado policy accelerator. everybody, a round of applause for our speakers. [applause]
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well, good morning. welcome to this panel which i think will be great. since he speakers have already been named i will not introduce input got 35 minutes so i'm going to a right into questions. these are real experts but am looking forward to this. let's start. let star theo, what is your perception of how things are going? what is going on on the ground? tells about what is happening in the situation in ukraine. >> you know the situation is difficult. nevertheless we are fighting. were doing our best. unprovoked invasion.
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they're trying to push each day and for your support. >> and demetri, your perception? >> i would say the russians have obviously made tremendous wonders. and their forces. in allowing this remarkable to take place. what happened specifically really remarkable to watch how one of the most technical people thought was a most cyber forces on the planet. they've not been able they may be a first couple days of the invasion. and why it has to do with the resilience of the ukrainian forces. one of the themes everyone should take away from the conflict in cyber domain as you may not be able to stop every
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intrusion. you may not be able to prevent the atmosphere can absolutely recover quickly. you can train for that. and ultimately achieve the objectives. >> ukraine is been under relentless cyber attack from the starch. and so one of the things that has been is the resilience of ukrainian and what did you learn from 2014? rush it doesn't have a lot of practice in ukraine for this time they didn't do so well-paid why is that? what explains it? >> what explains everything. the worst in 2014. we were prepared and we were preparing ourselves. we introduced base for that
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internal preparation and other agencies. their other partners first in the united states. because of 15 weeks cyber attacks on curriculum. i believe for everyone it was it not just against ukraine. also many, many companies in many countries. our preparations develop in day-to-day. we work for the state department and the usa to protect her
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critical infrastructure. also we introduce for example. we have quite unity and also it was a result of why they were able to do that. so we were preparing for that for a long time. in february 24. we experience. [inaudible] we already. and maybe the secret ingredient of that was our cyber volunteers. >> let's come back to that. i want to come back to the
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external helper demetri, what do you think the russians should have done? what did they do wrong? >> yes we had much more concerned about them and they have not lived up to it yet. he think it is important to point out some of the things we have done was impactful. i think one of the most impactful cyber attacks in history of the cyber domain probably occurred in the first hours of the war in the attack not on the ukraine itself but on american company providing satellite services ukraine and other countries as well. and being able to shut down motives now have statements from ukraine military officials saying on those initial critical days of invasion, that communications are basically completely down. the thing about war for the
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ability to shut down communications of opposing militaries in a normal scooper and the fact are able to do that is very, very significant. some think we should be paying considerably more attention too. at else could they have done? i was surprised there was not more of an attempt to shut down ukraine not even to cyber but through your able to mobilize the videos every night on their watch by millions of people around the world. i think it is an enormous failure for the russian military and not going after those critical communication. that was a significant surprise to me. they have tried a lot of stuff. clearly much of it is not
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working because of the resilience of the preparation that's taken place. one of the things been most amazing to me too watch is how rapidly and others new technologies moving to the cloud. one other things it has been remarkable to watch as the implementation i believe 10% of the government officials are now using them. at least for that's quite remarkable imagine doing that the u.s. government. it is possible but does not have to be a decade-long project. what he think about that? >> i don't know this is the first cyber war. we keep announcing the first cyber war so it might as well be. it is the first work cloud and data architecture played a really important role.
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you touched on this, let's talk about ukrainian use of the cloud how you thought about data. then the content but partnerships partnerships with foreign governments, foreign companies. let's talk about cloud that stood out to me why the big advances. x absolutely. we believe many cyber across russia we have a few such evidence and involve centers. just in one week before the full scale invasion part parliament adopted a new law, allowed us to move data.
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it was really magic. the cousins a third or fourth day of the war with our central database. but we were able to redistribute critical data in different ways. and it really was an equation it a life result. government cannot resolve data without the service which would allow you to provide services. so we start the preparation of it members. there likely for the opportunities of amazon, microsoft, they were spotted our call very quickly very timely. and it allowed us redistribute
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data quickly. also many governments they provide their premise with their so-called private clouds. we call it here now digital security. not only cyber but digital. including data communication. recall also to elon musk asking. this preparation is extremely important for us. >> in some ways cloud has become a strategic asset? cloud and data? demetri is this change i think about cybersecurity there's not even cloud, what you think now? >> of course the threat environment is very different they have the connecticut threat
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in addition to the virtual one. the cloud offers tremendous advantages security wise we have known that for a very, very long time. certainly of data infrastructure based on physical infrastructure is being attacked and invaded that represented challenges to keeping it up distributing around the world and cloud services made tremendous sense. i went to reinforce how remarkable it was to move everything within a matter of weeks. i don't think anything is been done on that scale just absolutely incredible. >> you mentioned your ghee. a number of companies helped out. one thing that struck me and
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this leads into a question as well, how do you coordinate all this stuff? it's not a mob it's a coordinated effort at least that's how it was. >> if you think beforehand, did you have plans in place? do you stay up all night for a couple of weeks? how did you coordinate this massive multi- continental effort? >> the preparation of the military operation big tech company. we have very strong connections with them. we have a trust and we called them it's very important to have people that you p can call in ce of emergency and to receive response. they were responsible for all of that. it was mainly weeks and months 24/7 over try to coordinate with
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whom we can agree. that many things. i believe other countries need such digital security. maybe some digital resilience not just with war but in the case of investor. we have examples of it's possible. >> we are going to have enough time on this panel part will come back to that one too. you have mentioned resolve the video that is another one of her demetri and i were kidding on the way out did you ever expect the cybersecurity conference you say hackers? >> how do you coordinate with
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them? how do you coronet with them? text messages,mm phones? >> the government's work. i remember. [inaudible] the invasion of the 24th of february. people just came voluntarily on the streets to protect themselves and to protect the country. and ukraine has a very significant. people from the community also decided to contribute. the most effective way for them was to make defense brew started from cyber defense. the attacks were so massive.
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some russian cyber that affects will help us to protect infrastructure. but in that time only the fanciest is enough. we need active defense. we need to do something to refocus them on attacks to the family from offensive. this i think is uniquely helps us to do that. they also started to show they are not professional fighters. digital education they were able to do that. they receive their targets openly. the targets were official websites of russian propaganda. it was what was going on and ukraine.
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and to us such the website were also responsible for coordination of cyber attack. express deeply. >> i just want to add, as you well know the last decade or so in this community has been all these arguments, if you don't hack back hospitals will be taken down and all kinds of disasters will take place. we have seen today that was nonsense you can be very precise offensive operations that do not harm civilians and innocenten people. >> what is your impression of activism now? >> i still think at -- i questions but go ahead. >> i think when you look att the facts that were conducted at by the groups probably have results
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on russia's ability to process the were both very, very hard th do in cyber highly capable intelligence services. they certainly created nuisances andk punch back out russia and achieve some propaganda. i think that's important for ukraine morale it's important to try to head back of the russian population of supporting the war. in that sense yet depreciates not just the connecticut battle is not a battle in cyberspace it's also a battle for minds and the propaganda elements of this is really murky. >> all of this they were focused on cyber security. did not create our cyber forces as many other countries. we decided to do that before the ecwar.
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had no cyber forces which allowed use any possible opportunity.y. it's also important the it community how trumps informs everyone. >> people are not serving but in anarchy they know what to do and how to protect for our country. >> this is of course a debate still in the united states. in certainly in nato on the role of let me say offensive cyber operations in any campaign. >> i'm going to put words in your mouth. i think you would agree there is a benefit to not being clearly defensive, to taking the action into the opponents and networks, that's recent active defense at one point which is one of our
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popular phrases. with this intentional or a conclusion you did not have a cyber command going into the war but you quickly assembled abi capability, why? >> because of the proximity we had no other choice per the only offensive when you're fighting against russia it's possible. it's unique to be invented. you know ukraine was at times to defeat russia you have to be very inventive. have to find new approaches like our advice prime minister. so we are trying to use our approaches on how we can defeat russia. i agreeee with demetri because reduce all of them.
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was based on the same fairytale. >> i have a collection of russian unit names. none of them use a pt or bear. demetri, how is your perception of russian cyber capabilities? >> i will admit i thought they would do better what did you think? >> thought they'd be somewhat better. i never believe is cyber would be decisive in this war. once there kinetic options available to you cyber is going to be relatively minor missions. our missions you cannot achieve the same electric grid and the like. my question to that is why? an artillery and the like what you ever do cyber to try to take
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something down for a few hoursyb with enormous efforts that have them stand it back up? for the station once stood. make sure it goes on permanently. cyber i think was always overhyped is a critical of warfare. has its uses trying to destroy tens of thousands of modems within ukraine is an impossible task. one cyber operation is a company that is providing that service for there's a much better way to do that for you are not always going to have those options to achieve significant effect. i do think it is interesting that you have a transition out taking place in ukraine fromuc old-style soviet weaponry to much more modern and much more interconnected western weapons. there is not a whole lot you can
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do against artillery systems was cyber. the not interconnected they do not have chips in them so there's not a whole lot to attack. commerce for example are interconnected for they take over the updates and the like. on the transition is taking place about interesting to see if the russians tried to do something to try to impact the usability of the system but it don't expect that to happen quickly. if incredibly difficult we might see something down the road in that regard. clark the one lesson we shouldhe have learned from the conflict is the central role that precision guided admissions of play and the need to have greater production capacity when you think of stingers or some of the other. >> even basic artillery shells will give you one example the
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production, one of the largest factories for producing artillery shells in the u.s. d produced about 15000 shells per month and the united states for the ukrainian that in about three days. when you think about great power worth but the conflict of europe or potential conflict in asia we just do not have the production capacity for a lot of things.bu not even the most sophisticated weapons but the most basic soup sustain a conflict for many, many months that is a huge issue. >> you can see a range of weapons beyond cyber but all digital that have really changed the nature of warfare. or really going to have to think that. that is been one of the lessons from ukraine. even 30 years ago we knew pgm gave economy of force and advantages. the conflict is only reinforced'
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the web or your expectations customer given dancing with the russians for long invasion? were you surprised how well that went? what we are expectations? >> did not know. [inaudible] t published in november at maine late last year. our countries together and for the flow. and from from the cyber point with the malicious intent as i mentioned before they started much earlier. saw the preparation maybe in october, november, december. they contacted also they were
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trying to involve them in their activity. they are very, very powerful they are trying on both sides.ow and from the other hand you know russian agencies they are closely connected withne this company. conducted some ransom or attacks. it's also possible and important to make to fight against them. to make a long story short we did not believe a full-scale invasion. but we were a little bit before that by. >> see anyone helping the
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russians? a little bit about who's helping ukraine? north korea is sending artillery shells but anyone helping them in cyber? >> they have support from our western allies and we are thankful for that. and as i mentioned in the face of preparation. what we have received massive support. the command officially declared they can conduct to us. also because if we need an active defense. u.s. on the basis to propose we need to join our efforts with
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developed in cyber, extremely harmful not only for ukraine but for the rest of the world. were able to exchange a threat intelligence. will be able to exchangetong trainings. i from efforts it's very important for us. i believe it's also very important. not only in cyber, may be in media. >> the media has been a part of the campaign from the start. demetri, tell us how you see the landscape here? who are the players? is it just a russia and ukraine, russia ukraine big tech companies? this used to be something you did quite well. who is in the arena? both on our side on the russian side.
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what you had both the u.s. and a variety of nato countries now being very public they are from a cyber capability perspective are in this fight. excuse me, providing intelligence to the ukrainian their operations to understandon with the russians are doing. i do not think it's a secret anymore to anyone that the ukrainians are being helped tremendously with intelligence but cyber and non- cyber domain. there's leaks in the u.s. government and. others. it is been really instrumental. the russians have been alone here. that's one of the biggestbi surprises. as many of you might recall right before the work food and goes to beijing. hugs his buddy, president xi they say this is a friendship without limits. turns out there quite a few limits on that friendship very
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quickly. the fact that china is being toh supply weapons systems, even semi conductors and the like because of their fear of secondary sanctions is really, really important. because china could helped russia quite a bit. yes they are buying drones from iran proud of the perch not be working so well. they're kind of cheap knockoffs of u.s. drones but yes they're going to be buying some from north korea pay really question how they are maintaining their stockpiles of shuttles. they are not necessarily known for the great maintenance practices. nor do i think they're going to ship all their stockpiles to russia because their own or plans depend on their ability to ildestroy artillery. they're not going to give up their own capability that easy to helped russia. russia is it remarkably alone. most impressive case to me has been that of causes don.
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you may recall that right before the war occurred, in january there was another blow up in the region. that was kazakhstan where the attempted coup takes place against the president and the russian forces to help stabilize the situation and keep ther, president of the country and power. a month later as russia is invading ukraine, because i'm not going to support this. i am not going to even endorse your annexation of ukrainian lands. and it being very, very public even with putin earlier this year saying he opposed the war. theyy guy they literally helped to prop up and keep in power at the beginning of the year, it has been remarkable how isolated russia has been in terms of real help. it's important to not overstatee it.
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we do have a lot of countries where the governments of the populations are sort of keeping theirr neutrality and not sidig with a one party or another and a conflict for the fact of the matter and the russians are not able to get material help from almost anyone. >> the frightening thought of north korean going against ukraine. i think you can probably slott them off. olet's ask you, we are coming o the end of our time did we have a couple of questions that i think will help bring the panel close. tell us, what would help you the most in terms of foreign support? what would be the most useful for you? you're getting support from companies from nato countries. what more can be done to help ukraine in cyber? >> very good question.
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it's important with some moral choice we need to mention about causes caps on it was her choice for many companies to help ukraine. many are not so many options buf they made this decision basedec they decided to use doctor activities in russia. i will not only to private russia from mining but it will deprive a russia of technologies for its important in the long term perspective verse cyber as well. very difficult to make an all cyber issue. so-called digital solidarity and we believe also to can traditional question what they can do more.
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not only to fight butto also to continue. they want to continue our development of digital affirmation. any modern technology interface ukraine and digital straight and show all the rest of the war even in were able to develop russia will stay at work russia is. so the second part we need cyber with our partners. we need the support. we need cyber resilience. >> i think ukraine has made the
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right choice. if you incorporate into western europe and other western european economy. think of the polls, or the checks were they were 25 years ago. i didn't know me not to say were defeated, came to their senses, gave up, what's his number i think will see a huge boost. there are connections with the tech companies. demetri, i need then you put in the more we could do? >> let me just reflect the title of the panel's lessons opened. quickset is the next question. [laughter] works will accelerate the answer. i've been asking in the last couple of months through part of lessons learned after the effort on the war. it is brought implications i turned on all of them is as
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lessons learned in the midst of 1942. in the early stages of this campaign and a sauce be understood before we can wrap up and put a bow on the lessons learned. but the one lesson that has been very clear since day one of this invasion is that the things that really make a difference to a modern complex our military farmer, the lessons we learned in world war ii, world war ii and many other wars since then, those are still things you need to hold territories, to defend. you have offense. cyber, while political really important, they are not decisive and modern warfare. or anywhere close to it.
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you still need manpower. you need artillery to hold ground for significant operations. we should not be losing sight of that. it is important to defend in the cyber domain. as we are seeing cyber attacks are not the most important thing taking place when he had these horrifying attacks on cities in the deaths of thousands of people. in terms of what we should be doing more to support ukraine, the one thing i think is not getting enough attention all this focuses on the military campaign. that is certainly understandable. but the economic system in ukraine is quite i dire. the reality is i've been saying this since april and the most important things the russians have done is the blockade of the black sea port. sprite export dependent. t that continues to this day.
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we never find more ways to support the ukraine government. many people with aid we often talk about the extensions in russia and debate whether gdp collapsed by 5% or 10% by the fact of the matter ukrainian gdp is collapsed by 45%. there is been a tremendous economic impact on ukrainian society. there's also this war and a lot more needs to be done to make sure they have the ability to keep on insisting the conflict. >> your knee, what would your lessons be you want to get to the rest of the world? this is an opportunity to tell people. this is what we have seen. this is what we have learned. what would you recommend? >> we need resilience. we need more strong preparation.
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we need to private sector internet. the decision-makers there. need to involve the more heavily in our strategies not only government but private companies. also we did not mention media. we have to enroll them in disinformation. it's very important. i'm not just in russia but in western countries as well. my call to you, do not be threatened by russia. be brave. [applause] thank you.
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[applause] >> i guess they like that pretty couple takeaways you. what i got out of this with data architecture and clouded. important for defense in a way we've not bought about. intrusion distance detection, rapid response and mitigation breed that's one of the keys of ukraine successful defense. your gate mention it so demetri, digital resilience, collaboration with the private sector, with the hacker community with government. one of the things i took away having done this a long time ago it's the importance of staffingi and planning. you need to coordinate, need to coordinate with cyber actions. the russians don't appear to have done that. t i do not know why. media, you brought up a couple times. we do not have enough time to talk about it. one of the lessons we all know we are seeing an action is your cell phone is a camera baited audio camping intel from it, you get stories, it's much harder to
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control the informational environment. that's with the russians of had a dilemma. finally don't ifi i said it already, staff, planning, think ahead. we can learn from what is been done so well. we really appreciate your coming. we are grateful for you to be here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [applause] [applause] so this year we are very honored to present an award to the ukraine government.
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well before russia's invasion of ukraine in january, 2022 ukraine has had to endure on side of russian cyber attacks targeting its government comments industry is critical infrastructure was just described. ukraine's cyber workforce is not survive these attacks, but has adapted its defenses leveraging both its growing expertise to help with international partners to create an amazing resiliency. additionally it's built a solid nfoundation for its knowledge of cyber and helping prepare to transform the country into a digital powerhouse that will be the envy of other governments worldwide. aws is a proud sponsor of this award. again this was given for the fifth year past winnerse have included president of estonia. so, for this award we like to congratulate ukraine or its bravery in his strength been given much adversity.
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for being this year's recipient of our international award. accepting this award will be. before presenting the award in this part is not scripted, he mentioned when he stood if all ofie you if the spirit moves yo, in unison, slava ukraine a. thank you. the honor of introducing -- myy giving this award to mr. dominski. i am truly honored, thank you.
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[applause] [applause] [applause] >> thank you very much. we will now resume the program. thank you to jim and demetri. demetri, thank you also for putting the cybersecurity in the right context in terms ofms what is going on there. so thank you. appreciate jim you moderating this. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪


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