Ukraine's largest charity wants to raise $1.3 million for ‘cyber offensive’
The campaign aims to raise $1.3 million to purchase technology and equipment that will help Ukraine’s cyber forces conduct digital operations that could impede Russia's advances on the real battlefield.
The commander of the cyber forces unit, which is part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, asked the organization for help to build infrastructure and boost cyber warfare capabilities, the organization told The Record.
"Cyber forces work on an invisible battlefield and help real tanks and artillery to win back Ukrainian territories," said Andrii Rymaruk, head of the military department of Come Back Alive. The foundation began as a way for Ukraine and its supporters to assist service members directly with equipment and more.
Come Back Alive is not disclosing the specific hardware or software it intends to buy for security reasons. However, the organization said it wants to create logistical difficulties for Russia and help Ukraine locate and target Russian troops.
Raising funds for cyber forces is a more difficult task than for traditional military forces, a spokesperson for Come Back Alive told The Record. "An average Ukrainian would find it more difficult to imagine the work of a cyber soldier than that of an artilleryman," she said.
Previously, Come Back Alive conducted another fundraising campaign for a cyber operation. They raised over $200,000 to buy equipment for the Ukrainian cyber forces, which aids in the early detection of Russian operations.
Crowdfunding efforts have proved effective during the war in Ukraine. In August, another Ukrainian charity raised $17 million and bought a satellite for the army. In the early days of the war, Ukraine crowdsourced tens of thousands of tech specialists who voluntarily carry out distributed denial-of-service attacks on Russian websites.
Daryna Antoniuk is a freelance reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.