Cyberwarfare flares up again between Ukraine and Russia

Estimated read time 3 min read

Cyberwarfare flares up again between Ukraine and Russia

Is this a “cyber escalation”, as this French cyber threat specialist wonders about X (ex-Twitter)? Digital operations between Ukraine and Russia have indeed just accelerated in recent days. On Tuesday, a ”powerful cyberattack” hit Kyivstar, the country’s leading mobile telecommunications operator, which has 24 million users, forcing it to suspend its services.

On the same day, Ukraine claimed responsibility for hacking the tax service of the Russian Federation, an operation that would have ended in the spread of malicious software on more than 2,300 servers, presumably a kind of Wiper, these programs intended to delete data. A sequence, of the order of the response or coincidence, which had never been seen since the beginning of the conflict.

Sandworm’s paw

The Solntsepek group has thus claimed on the Telegram messenger to be at the origin of the computer attack against Kyïvstar. “We destroyed 10,000 computers, more than 4,000 servers, all storage and backup systems in the cloud”” they assure.

However, Ukraine believes that the hacking should rather be attributed to one of the Russian intelligence services, the GRU. According to Mandiant, quoted by Wired, this group of hackers would indeed be a false nose of Sandworm, a unit accused of having been behind the Macron Leaks or the hack of the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

On Wednesday, Kyïvstar said on social networks that it was already restoring its infrastructure, with a first return to voice communications and SMS. “Services will be restored gradually, so there may still be difficulties in the short term”” she added, calling on users to restart the phones and disable the VoLTE service in the settings of her terminal.

Fog of war

On the other side of the border, the situation is more blurred. A few weeks after the claim of the hacking of Rosaviation, the communiqué of the GUR, the Ukrainian military intelligence, is relatively precise about this intrusion into the Kremlin’s taxation. “The Russians tried for four consecutive days to restore the functioning of the tax service, without success,” they assure.

He added: “According to experts, the paralysis of the federal tax service will last at least a month. At the same time, it is impossible to fully resurrect the tax system of the aggressor state.”But the Russian administration denied it immediately, assuring the RIA Novosti news agency on the contrary that taxpayers’ data were still protected. A reassuring bell sound that has however been scratched. Internet users could have difficulties accessing online services, reports a Telegram channel reported by the Russian-speaking Meduza website. A fog of war that could quickly dissipate.

You May Also Like

More From Author