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Military intelligence claims capture of Russian drone producer's classified data

by Martin Fornusek January 8, 2024 7:20 PM 2 min read
An Orlan drone displayed during an open-air exhibition of destroyed Russian military equipment and tactical gear on Mykhailivska Square on June 15, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Zinchenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) seized 100 gigabytes (GB) of classified data worth around $1.5 billion from the Russian company Special Technology Center, the HUR said on Jan. 8.

The St. Petersburg-based firm, placed under Ukrainian and international sanctions, produces Orlan reconnaissance drones, electronic warfare systems, and other tools employed by the Russian military.

Orlan drones are widely used by Russian invading forces in Ukraine to adjust artillery fire and scout on Ukrainian positions.

The HUR allegedly obtained blueprints, patents, and software on both existing and developing projects.

The agency said it gained access to the data of the "critically important" defense industry company "thanks to effective cooperation with patriotic representatives of civil society and the media community."

"This is a significant blow to Moscow: the data is already being used to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities and weaken the aggressor state," Ukraine's military intelligence agency said in its statement.

In December, the media reported that a Ukrainian hacker group, backed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), targeted the critical infrastructure of Rosvodokanal, a Russian utility company. Hackers allegedly deleted over 50 terabytes (TB) of data and gained access to 1.5 TB.

The attack came only a week after a massive Russian-linked cyberattack against the Ukrainian phone operator Kyivstar, which caused internet and network outages across the country.

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