The network equipment in Crimea is allegedly being used to attack mobile phones of the country’s leadership, while pro-Russian hackers deface Ukrainian news sites
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has claimed that for the past two days, the pro-Russian armed forces stationed in Crimea have been disrupting the country’s mobile communications. As we wrote this story, we also found that Ukrainian news sites have been deface by pro-Russian hackers.
According to a report in RBK Ukraine, the “IP-telephonic” attack is being aimed at members of the parliament and the new leadership of the country, irrespective of their political allegiance.
It’s chaos out there
At a briefing on Tuesday, SBU chief Valentin Nalivaychenko told the media that the phones belonging to the members of the Verkhovna Rada – the Ukrainian parliament – were being disrupted from Crimea, using illegally installed equipment.
The attacks were made through the infrastructure of the local network operator, Ukrtelecom. Nalivaychenko said his own phone was being “attacked”, but didn’t provide any additional details. He warned that such actions were disrupting the work of the state agencies, and said SBU was doing everything in its power to restore normal network operation.
Ukrtelecom previously reported that since 28 February, unidentified armed forces had captured several key telecommunications facilities in Crimea, and physically damaged some of the equipment. The company warned that this incident could cause service interruptions across the country.
As I was researching this story, I ran into several recently defaced news websites, which were displaying an image on the right. They were victims of operation ‘Cyber-Berkut’, which targeted a total of 40 local news websites. The Facebook page, written in Russian, claims to represent “Ukrainian people” and threatens the “traitors” and “fascists” (presumably pro-European protesters), instructing them to hand themselves in.
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