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Sources: Ukrainian hackers destroy data center used by Russian military industry

by Martin Fornusek April 8, 2024 1:47 PM 2 min read
A message by the Blackjack hackers left on the site of the OwenCould.ru. Screenshot taken on April 8, 2024. The Russian-language text reads: "The IT infrastructure was destroyed. Data stored in the cloud servers was deleted. You work in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry – you are a legitimate target. Accomplices of Putin's criminal regime will be punished."
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Ukrainian hackers, possibly connected to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), destroyed a data center used by the Russian military, energy, and telecommunications industries, sources in the SBU told the Kyiv Independent on April 8.

This comes as yet another story shedding light on the escalating cyberwar between Russia and Ukraine.

According to the sources, more than 10,000 entities involved in the Russian military industry stored their data in the targeted cloud service OwenCloud.ru.

These reportedly included companies from Russia's oil and gas production or metallurgical and aerospace industry, as well as major telecommunication giants: Ural Works of Civil Aviation, Rubin, Ural Plant Spectechniks, Gazprom, Transgaz, Lukoil, Rosneft, Nornickel, Rostelecom, or MegaFon.

The operation was jointly carried out by the Ukrainian hacker group Blackjack and the cybersecurity department of the SBU, the sources said.

At the moment of the publication, the OwenCloud.ru website displays a message supposedly left by the Blackjack hacker group, saying that the center's "IT infrastructure has been destroyed."

"You work in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry – you are a legitimate target," the message reads.

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More than 300 terabytes of data were destroyed, the sources said. This included 400 virtual and 42 physical servers that stored internal documents, backup copies, and other programs through which clients remotely managed production at their enterprises, according to the sources.

The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify the claims.

The sources said that the attack on the cloud service was a retaliation for a January hack of the Ukrainian Parkovyi data center.

The SBU's cybersecurity chief, Illia Vitiuk, said in March that the SBU had repelled almost 10,000 cyberattacks since the outbreak of the full-scale war in 2022.

What was arguably the most destructive cyberattack took place in December 2023, when Russian intelligence-linked hackers targeted Kyivstar, Ukraine's leading telecommunications provider, causing communication outages across the country.

Ukraine’s military intelligence claims cyberattack on Russian Defense Ministry
The operation by HUR’s cyber specialists reportedly helped to obtain orders, reports, instructions, and reports “that circulated among about 2,000 structural units of the Russian security service.”
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