Ukrainian Mobile Operator Suffers A Large-Scale Cyber Attack 

Ukraine's largest mobile network Kyivstar has suffered a massive cyber attack, knocking the service offline for an extended period from the 12th December. 

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had opened criminal proceedings to investigate the the attack on Kyivstar, and that “one of the versions currently being investigated by SBU investigators is that the Russian special services may be behind this hacker attack.”

The Kyivstar network is estimated to have some 24 million mobile customers and a million home internet users and this attack also disrupted the air raid alert systems themselves in parts of Kyiv.

The attack on Kyivstar, which has more than 50% of Ukraine's population as mobile subscribers, was taken out services, damaged IT infrastructure and millions could not receiving mobile warnings of potential Russian air assaults. 

While the company's own website was offline, Kyivstar has posted statement on social media saying that the attack caused a “technical failure” that left customers without mobile connections or internet access. The company's Chief Executive Officer Oleksandr Komarov said the attack was a result of the war with Russia. "War is also happening in cyberspace. Unfortunately, we have been hit as a result of this war... The attack significantly damaged our infrastructure, limited access, we could not counter it at the virtual level, so we shut down Kyivstar physically to limit the enemy's access."  he told national television.

Komarov did not name who he believed to be responsible, but Russian hacktivist group Killnet claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement on the Telegram. Kyivstar's Dutch parent company Veon said it would work with Kyivstar on "additional security measures" to prevent similar incidents in future.

At the same time that Kyivstar came under attack, Monobank, one of Ukraine’s largest financial institutions, said it had also been targeted by hackers. The bank’s co-founder Oleh Gorokhovsky said on Telegram that the organisation had been struck by a “massive DDoS” attack, aimed at knocking services offline.

Ukraine Defence MinistryTSN.UA     OGo/ Telegram:   VEON:   BBC:     Reuters:      XinhuaNet:    Computing

Techcrunch:   Cyberscoop:      The Record:   

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Ukraine’s Cyber Conflict With Russia:

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