This game performs crowdsourcing cyber attacks against Russian websites

A Lviv-based team of Ukrainian software engineers created an online game called “Play for Ukraine‘, which gamifies participation in Dedicated Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks against select Russian government and media websites through crowdsourcing and gamification.

The game based on the popular number puzzle game “2048‘ is designed so that every move a player makes will aid in a DDOS attack on a targeted web server. According to the developers’ Twitter account, the game launched on February 28th. As of March 15, the developers say, 2,048 players helped attack more than 200 Russian websites.

“Our main goal is sites serving the Russian army,” the developers write on the game’s website. “We . . . rely on a steady stream of automated traffic to take a target website offline.”

In a DDoS attack, an attacker typically uses malware to hijack a series of computers, which they then instruct to continuously send requests to a targeted server until the server’s normal operations are interrupted or stopped. Instead of hijacking computers, Play for Ukraine sends server requests to target servers when they voluntarily make moves in the game. The developers say that a user can send 20,000 server requests in an hour of gameplay, so players obviously send more requests than one per turn.

For security and strategic reasons, the game developers do not reveal the names of the Russian websites they target. But they have reported several successes over the game for Ukraine – i.e Twitter account.

is it legit The developers say the game has been verified by Ukrainian Cyber ​​Policea cybercrime law enforcement agency within the Home Office.

In late February, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorovwill called on his country’s oversized population of software developers (estimated at 200,000) to do so Build an “IT Army” to conduct both defensive and offensive cyber operations against Russia. The Lviv group that created Play for Ukraine says in the game FAQ that it intends to carry out further projects with the IT army.

Play for Ukraine is just one of the cyberweapons created by Ukrainian software engineers to wage a quieter war behind the more kinetic and violent war slowly sweeping the Eastern European country. They have created public safety apps, humanitarian aid apps, and cyber defense apps.

Others have used their existing apps and infrastructure to engage in the information warfare surrounding the conflict.

The popular social Face swapping app Reface has a large Russian user base, and the developers have sent more than 13 million push notifications to its Russian users’ devices, showing the actual civilian damage inflicted in Ukraine by Putin’s military. This directly contradicts the consistent messages from state-controlled media in Russia, which portray the war as a small-scale military incursion targeting “Nazis” within the Ukrainian government.

MacPaw (Mac productivity) and BetterMe (health coaching) also sent informative push notifications about the war to their Russian app users’ devices.

Ultimately, the success of Ukrainian developers in the cyberwar and information warfare dimensions of the conflict could weaken both the combat capability of the Russian military and the support of the Russian public, which is crucial to continuing Putin’s increasingly deadly war. This game performs crowdsourcing cyber attacks against Russian websites


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