Information Warfare in the Russian-Ukraine Conflict, Fortnite Fundraising, Unencrypted Communications, More: Ukraine Update, March 22, 2022


UNC: Information Warfare in the Russian-Ukraine Conflict. “This moderated panel will explore the information war underway in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In addition to discussing the many challenges facing journalists covering the conflict, the panelists will explore how social media has changed information warfare and impacted intelligence gathering and analysis, evaluate how social media platforms and journalists handle mis- and disinformation, and offer media literacy tips to our audience.” This virtual event takes place March 24 at 4pm EST. As far as I can tell it’s free.


Tubefilter: ‘Fortnite’ offered to donate proceeds to Ukraine humanitarian efforts. A day later, it’s raised $36 million.. “In slightly over 24 hours, Fortnite developer Epic Games raised a whopping $36 million for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Epic announced yesterday that from March 20-April 3—the first two weeks of Fortnite‘s new in-game season—it would donate all proceeds from Fortnite purchases to relief efforts.”

CNET: Russia Reportedly Bans All Meta Platforms, Except WhatsApp. “A Russian court in Moscow on Monday found Meta Platforms guilty of ‘extremist activity,’ according to a report by Reuters. Russia had already blocked Facebook and Instagram, but the court reportedly says the decision will not affect WhatsApp.”


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 10 must-read Twitter threads on the war in Ukraine. “If you follow any of the Bulletin’s editors on Twitter, you know that we regularly retweet threads we find particularly interesting. We don’t have room to share them all here, but what follows is a sampling of some thoughtful threads on Ukraine.”

The Quint: Russia’s Claims of Bioweapons in Ukraine Expose the Dangers of Disinformation. “Here are four articles from our archive to help you understand how Russia used disinformation to justify the invasion, how disinformation fits into Russia’s use of technology in warfare, what makes disinformation so challenging, and how targets of Russia’s disinformation have learned to respond.”


NiemanLab: How maps show — and hide — key information about the Ukraine war. “Geographers often speak in terms of what they call the ‘silences’ of maps — what’s missing and unseen, hidden in the margins. Those silences are just as meaningful as what’s on the page. It’s important to ask what has been left out. That’s certainly true when looking at maps depicting aspects of Russia’s war on Ukraine. News organizations around the world have published many maps of the crisis, but their standard views are not the only way maps can help people understand what is happening in Ukraine.”

Mashable: Russians are downloading Wikipedia en masse as possible ban looms . “Reporting for Slate, writer Annie Rauwerda dove into Kiwix’s public stats and found that the number of downloads of the Russian-language Wikipedia have spiked in recent weeks. It’s already been downloaded 148,457 times this month so far. As Rauwerda points out, that’s more than a 4,000 percent uptick in downloads in March when compared to January of this year. Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (abbreviated as Roskomnadzor), aka its censorship agency, threatened to block Wikipedia in the country earlier this month.”

New York Times: As Big Shows of Russian Art End in Europe, Some Wonder What’s Next. “A blockbuster show at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, on the outskirts of Paris, has been seen by over a million people since it opened in November. Known as the Morozov collection, it includes paintings by Picasso, Gauguin, Renoir and Van Gogh, as well as some of Russian’s most renowned painters….In more normal times, the works would be packed into boxes and returned to Russian museums after the exhibition closes on April 3. Now, because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is unclear when those works will get home.”


Foreign Policy: ‘The Ukrainians Are Listening’: Russia’s Military Radios Are Getting Owned. “One European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity to speak about recent military intelligence, said the failure of Russia’s encrypted systems has also helped Ukrainian forces drive up the body count among opposing generals. In one striking example, internet sleuths at the investigative outlet Bellingcat discovered Russian reconnaissance officers in the field using unencrypted communications systems to send word of the death of Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov back home. Gerasimov, believed to be the nephew of Russia’s top military officer, was killed during fighting with Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv in early March.”

New York Times: Biden warns the private sector that Russia is exploring options for cyberattacks. “President Biden warned on Monday that Russia is exploring the possibility of waging potential cyberattacks against the United States in retaliation for economic penalties imposed on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.”

The Verge: After ‘protestware’ attacks, a Russian bank has advised clients to stop updating software. “In a recent announcement, the Russian bank Sber advised its customers to temporarily stop installing software updates to any applications out of concern that they could contain malicious code specifically targeted at Russian users, labeled by some as ‘protestware.'”


The Verge: Russian government bars its scientists from international conferences. “Russian scientists will not participate in international conferences this year, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation said via its Telegram channel. The decision comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strained the relationships between Russian scientists and the international research community.”

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