Corporations are acting directly to influence the war in Ukraine. Meta (Facebook) is weeding out Russian propaganda. Elon Musk provided Starlink to the Ukraine government after the Russians cut off their internet. Now Microsoft is acting.
What startles me is the power of corporate leaders to act personally and directly without involving the government.
**As Tanks Rolled Into Ukraine, So Did Malware. Then Microsoft Entered the War.**
**After years of talks about the need for public-private partnerships to combat cyberattacks, the war in Ukraine is stress-testing the system.**
**By David E. Sanger, Julian E. Barnes and Kate Conger, The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2022**
**Last Wednesday, a few hours before Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, alarms went off inside Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center, warning of a never-before-seen piece of “wiper” malware that appeared aimed at the country’s government ministries and financial institutions.**
**Within three hours, Microsoft threw itself into the middle of a ground war in Europe — from 5,500 miles away. The threat center, north of Seattle, had been on high alert, and it quickly picked apart the malware, named it “FoxBlade” and notified Ukraine’s top cyberdefense authority. Within three hours, Microsoft’s virus detection systems had been updated to block the code, which erases — “wipes” — data on computers in a network....**
**Anne Neuberger, the White House’s deputy national security adviser for cyber- and emerging technologies asked if Microsoft would consider sharing details of the code with the Baltics, Poland and other European nations, out of fear that the malware would spread beyond Ukraine’s borders, crippling the military alliance or hitting West European banks....**
**Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, wrote about “constant and close coordination” with the Ukrainian government, as well as federal officials, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union....Much of the actionable intelligence is being found by companies like Microsoft and Google, who can see what is flowing across their vast networks....** [end quote]
Companies that have taken direct action to prevent hacking of social networks in this conflict include Meta, Twitter and YouTube. They have woven themselves into the fabric of world communications. But they are active agents, not passive carriers.