Ukrainian Hackers Temporarily Disable Internet Providers in Russia-Occupied Territories

Internet services in several regions of Ukraine’s territories, which have been occupied by Russia, were temporarily disrupted as Ukrainian hackers launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on three Russian internet providers. The group behind the attack, known as the IT Army, claimed responsibility for the disruption.

The IT Army, in a statement on Telegram, stated that their DDoS attack successfully took down three Russian internet providers, namely Miranda-media, Krimtelekom, and MirTelekom, which were operating within the occupied territories. They described the incident as another instance of their cyber army’s efforts to disrupt enemy military communication along the frontlines.

On the opposing side, Russian internet operators confirmed that they had experienced an “unprecedented level of DDoS attacks from Ukrainian hacker groups” early on Friday, which temporarily disrupted their services. The attack had consequences, affecting cellular networks, phone calls, and internet connections.

By Friday evening, Miranda-media reported that they had restored 80% of their services, which included support for law enforcement agencies, government organizations, and “socially significant services.” The operator’s security experts characterized the DDoS attacks as “carefully planned by cybercriminals.”

DDoS attacks function by overwhelming the targeted systems with excessive and disruptive traffic, rendering them inaccessible.

As of Saturday, certain regions in Crimea still reported disrupted internet connections as operators continued efforts to enhance their network resilience.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea and eastern Ukraine led to the disconnection of Ukrainian telecommunications infrastructure in these areas, with internet traffic redirected through Russia’s network. Ukraine has criticized this move, asserting that Russia aims to establish its propaganda as an uncontested source of information.

These attacks on Russian internet operators, including those within the occupied territories, are not new. In October, Ukraine’s IT Army targeted Crimean internet operators, reportedly disabling surveillance cameras in a western Crimean city. The hackers cited the importance of isolating the peninsula’s logistics and infrastructure to hinder military supplies as their motivation.

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