Russian Hackers Attack Kyivstar

Estimated read time 2 min read

Russian hackers infiltrated Ukraine’s largest telecom provider months before a devastating attack that disrupted mobile and home internet services for around 24 million people, as per a senior Ukrainian government official’s statements in a recent interview.

According to Illia Vitiuk, the head of Ukraine’s Security Service cybersecurity division, the perpetrators, likely the Russian military intelligence unit “Sandworm,” had unauthorized access to Kyivstar’s network since May 2023, if not earlier. The attack, occurring on December 12, caused extensive damage, wiping out “almost everything,” including numerous virtual servers and PCs belonging to the telecommunications firm, stated Vitiuk in the interview published Thursday.

The cyber attack’s severity enabled the hackers to potentially steal personal data, track phone locations, intercept SMS messages, and even pilfer Telegram accounts, given their elevated access levels, Vitiuk further explained.

Kyivstar, in response to these claims, issued a statement on Thursday, refuting the mentioned timeline of unauthorized access, and insisted that the official investigation into the incident is ongoing. The company, however, failed to address the disparity between its account and Vitiuk’s statements.

Despite the rumors and claims of destruction, Kyivstar asserted on December 13 via Facebook that there was no damage to their “computers and servers,” emphasizing the security of subscriber data.

Moreover, Vitiuk highlighted the Security Service’s role in preventing additional attacks on Kyivstar, revealing that the enemy had intended to launch successive strikes to prolong network disconnection.

The cyber assault, attributed to a group called “Solntsepek,” disrupted services for at least a day, with some customers experiencing even longer outages. Solntsepek claimed responsibility in a message to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, attributing the attack to Kyivstar’s support for the Ukrainian military and law enforcement agencies.

Vitiuk, however, reassured that the attack did not significantly impact Ukrainian military operations, providing some relief amid the chaos caused by the cyber incident.

June Bauer

Pop cultureaholic, Technology expert, Web fanatic and a Social media geek. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email her at or contact her on X @JuneTBauer1

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