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Kyivstar cyberattack cost telecommunications operator nearly $100 million

by Dmytro Basmat and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 19, 2024 8:07 AM 1 min read
A woman walks by a Kyivstar store in Kyiv on Dec. 12, 2023. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AFP via Getty Images)
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VEON, the Dutch telecommunications operator and parent company of the Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar, revealed a 3.6 billion hryvnias ($95 million) revenue loss due to the major cyberattack conducted by a Russian hacker group in December, the company announced in a statement on Jan. 18.

The nearly $100 million revenue loss stems from costs incurred restoring services, replacing lost equipment, or compensating external consultants and partners. Veon also notes in its financial impact assessment that any additional costs for further remediation measures for Kyivstar customer is uncertain and cannot be estimated.

On Dec. 12, Ukraine came under a massive cyberattack which targeted Kyivstar and one of the country's largest banks, Monobank. People across the country reported internet and network outages, as well as issues with air raid alerts.

The Russian hacker group Solntsepek, linked to Russia's military intelligence agency, claimed responsibility for the cyberattack.

Russia has been repeatedly accused of backing cyber-crime groups in attacks against its rivals. Moscow has also deployed its cyber capabilities against Ukraine, including attacks on government institutions, the defense sector, and energy infrastructure.

According to dev.ua, Solntsepek has carried out hostile activities against Ukraine in the past, which included revealing the personal details of Ukrainian soldiers.

Russian hacker group claims responsibility for Kyivstar cyberattack
A Russian hacker attack claimed responsibility for the recent cyberattack against Ukraine’s leading phone operator, Kyivstar, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Dec. 13.
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