“There will be an information war.”

Cyber security expert, Jan Oetting, suspects that one pillar of critical infrastructure in particular is at risk: communications and media. He explains here why we should protect this area particularly well against hacker attacks.

There is much speculation at present about attacks on our critical infrastructure. There is fear that water supplies and power plants could be tampered with. “Of course, cyber shields should be up everywhere, IT staff everywhere need to monitor their IT systems for typical attack patterns,” says IT specialist Jan Oetting. “But the question is, what good would it do Putin if a power grid was shut down for a few hours? The damage would only be temporary and would probably have no long-term effects. But what Putin is really interested in is presenting his view of things.”

Social media darling vs. war propagandist

Already today, we receive very different figures from the Ukrainian and Russian sides regarding the dead and injured. Independent authorities can neither verify nor confirm one or the other figure. It is obvious that each side uses its data to generate emotions – one to morally support the Ukrainian resistance, the other to emphasize its success in military operations.
“Putin” and “Selenskyj” both regularly occupy the top ranks in Twitter trends and search queries. But on the social media front, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj is clearly ahead. His little cell phone videos and messages in Ukrainian, English and Russian are liked and shared millions of times on Twitter and Facebook. The Western media disseminate and interpret them on a daily basis. The politician benefits from his training as an actor and his affinity for the media, among other things. He has a gift for packaging messages in short, emotional words. That leaves a big impression on people.

In contrast, Vladimir Putin looks rather unspectacular. An older, pale man with small eyes and a bloated face. Support among the Russian population is waning. More and more people in Russia are taking to the streets to demonstrate for peace, despite the threat of fines and imprisonment. More and more young Russian men are deserting or trying to leave the country to avoid being drafted by the military… Putin’s sentences are harsh and awkwardly worded. He seems to lack the social media ease of his opponent. The whole world hangs on Selenskyj’s every word, but Putin doesn’t like to listen. That probably annoys him quite a bit…