Espreso. Global

Ukraine's largest telecom operator targeted by hackers: SBU probes high treason, sabotage

12 December, 2023 Tuesday
19:50

On December 12, Kyivstar users lost mobile service due to a failure: the company says it was caused by a powerful hacker attack. The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has opened criminal proceedings under eight articles, including high treason and sabotage

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This is reported by Espreso. 

Users complain about the lack of mobile communication and the Internet. It is also impossible to log in to the Kyivstar mobile application.

When trying to call, subscribers hear the following response: "The mobile network is unavailable".

SBU opened criminal case under 8 articles

The Ukrainian Security Service has reported that it has opened a criminal investigation into a cyberattack on the Kyivstar mobile operator.

The proceedings were opened under eight articles, including unauthorized interference with information and communication systems; encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine; high treason, sabotage, planning, preparation, unleashing and waging an aggressive war, creation and leadership of a criminal organization.

One of the versions being considered by the SBU is the involvement of Russian special services in the hacker attack.

The agency's investigative team went to the company's offices after the incident. It is documenting the circumstances of the attack.

"In addition, the SBU cyber specialists are working at the scene to provide assistance to Kyivstar employees and coordinate the efforts of all government agencies to restore the network as soon as possible," the SBU added.

Where sirens do not work due to a failure

Air raid alerts are not working in some communities in the Sumy, Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions. 

In Dnipro, there will be a partial blackout as 80% of the lights are switched on via Kyivstar's GSM channel.

In those settlements where there are problems with the system, patrol police and SES crews will be working to announce the alarm via loudspeaker.

Some terminals and ATMs of PrivatBank will not work due to Kyivstar failure

This was reported by PrivatBank spokesman Oleh Serha in a comment to hromadske

He explained that some of the ATMs and POS terminals of all banks work on mobile cards. Therefore, the failure of Kyivstar will affect the operation of those terminals that work on the cards of this mobile operator. 

According to him, the share of ATMs that use Kyivstar services in PrivatBank's ATM network is a maximum of 5%.

What Kyivstar says

The company confirmed a technical failure in the network, which resulted in the unavailability of communication and Internet access services for part of the subscriber base. They emphasized that the company's specialists are working to fix the problem.

They added that representatives of law enforcement agencies and special state services were involved to record the circumstances and consequences of the unlawful interference with the network. Specialists are working to eliminate the consequences to restore communication as soon as possible.

The mobile operator promises to compensate subscribers who had no connection or could not use their services.

Subsequently, the company's CEO, Oleksandr Komarov, said on We-Ukraine TV channel that the hacker attack had partially destroyed the operator's IT infrastructure.

According to him, it is not yet known how long the recovery will take.

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