This is what the authorities say, according to Reuters. They say Russian hackers gained access to Kyivstar's systems months before they attacked and crippled the mobile network of about 24 million customers for several days starting on December 12.
Hackers were also in a position to steal personal information and intercept SMS messages.
As mentioned, the December attack caused significant damage — and is described as the “most dramatic” hacker attack since the war began nearly two years ago — but did not affect the Ukrainian military, according to authorities.
– This shows that no one is immune, says the country's cyber espionage chief Ilya Vitok – who adds that this should be seen as a “big warning”, not only to yourselves, but also to the West.
The same suspected hackers, the Sandworm group – which many Western intelligence services believe may be linked to Russia's GRU military intelligence service – are said to have tried to infiltrate another mobile operator's system a year ago, but were thwarted.
Russia has not yet commented on these accusations, according to what the newspaper “Dagbladet” has seen.
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