Skip to content
Edit post

Russian hacker group claims responsibility for Kyivstar cyberattack

by Martin Fornusek December 13, 2023 6:19 PM 2 min read
A Kyivstar building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 25, 2012. (Wikimedia Commons/Maksym Kozlenko)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

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

Ukraine came under a massive cyberattack on Dec. 12, 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.

Work to restore services is underway, and the home internet is expected to be fixed later on Dec. 13, the SBU said. The restart of phone connection and phone internet services is planned for the same day.

According to Ukraine's security service, the hacker group allegedly responsible for the attack is under the command of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.

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.

Although the SBU did not specify the group's name, a Russian hacker group called Solntsepek claimed responsibility for the attack against Kyivstar in a statement published on Telegram earlier on Dec. 13.

"We attacked Kyivstar because the company provides communications to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as government agencies and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine," the group wrote on social media.

Solntsepek claimed that its attack had "destroyed" 10,000 computers, over 4,000 servers, and all cloud storage and backup systems.

Kyivstar denied that any computers or servers had been destroyed. The company also noted that subscribers' personal data remains safe.

The SBU, however, acknowledged that the attack resulted in critical damage to Kyivstar's digital 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.

Ukraine's cyber defense agency connected Solntsepek to Sandworm, a hacker group run by the GRU.

Massive cyberattack reported on Ukrainian bank, phone operator
Massive cyberattacks hit the largest Ukrainian telecommunications company, Kyivstar, and one of the country’s largest banks, Monobank, on Dec. 12.
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions. It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

11:02 PM

CNN: US may allow deploying its military contractors to Ukraine.

Such a move would help the Ukrainian military maintain and repair weapons systems provided by Washington much more quickly. U.S.-supplied military equipment that has been heavily damaged in combat has to be taken out of the country to Poland, Romania, or other NATO countries for repair, which took a long time, CNN wrote.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
9:59 PM

Ukraine brings back 90 POWs from Russian captivity.

The released captives include 32 personnel of the National Guard, including those who defended the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 18 border guards, 17 personnel of the Navy, 15 soldiers of the Armed Forces as well as eight of the territorial defense, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War reported.
9:39 PM

Zelensky says he's sure Ukraine will become EU member as accession talks kick off.

"As of today, we have full confidence — Ukraine will definitely become a full member of the European Union," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address. "Now, the focus is on the technical work between Ukraine and the EU, adapting our system to the EU, and Europe's political will to make the European project truly complete."
8:28 PM

EU Council approves draft security agreement with Ukraine.

"We have been preparing for the next European Council, which will take place at the end of this week in Brussels. This European Council will give a full picture of our support for Ukraine in all its forms," Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said at a press conference in Luxembourg on June 25.
2:05 PM  (Updated: )

Breaking: International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Russia's Shoigu, Gerasimov.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on June 25 that it has issued arrest warrants for ex Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, now secretary of Russia's Security Council, and Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian army, for war crimes against Ukraine. The charges relate to Russian strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, the ICC said.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.