The largest cyber attack of the Russia-Ukraine War so far has hit a Ukrainian telecom giant, causing a cellular blackout for millions.
Kyivstar is Ukraine’s largest broadband and mobile network operator. The attack left over 24.3 million mobile subscribers without a stable connection in the country.
CEO of Kyivstar, Oleksandr Komarov told a television newscast “War is also happening in cyber-space. Unfortunately, we have been hit as a result of this war,” as reports Reuters.
Kyivstar’s infrastructure partially destroyed
“(The attack) significantly damaged (our) infrastructure, limited access, we could not counter it at the virtual level, so we shut down Kyivstar physically to limit the enemy’s access,” Komarov said.
Veon, the parent company of Kyivstar released a statement on the incident stating “The network of its Ukrainian subsidiary Kyivstar has been the target of a widespread hacker attack in the morning of 12 December 2023, causing a technical failure.” Via the Veon website.
This morning, @TwiyKyivstar was targeted by a hacker attack, causing a technical failure in communication and internet access.
— VEON (@VEONGroup) December 12, 2023
Veon also stated that Kyivstar technical teams are “working in close cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to determine the circumstances and consequences of the interference in the Kyivstar network. At the time of this release, the personal data of subscribers has not been compromised, to the best of Kyivstar’s knowledge.”
Cyber attacks hit other services in Ukraine
Kyivstar was not the sole target of the cyber attacks taking place as Monobank, one of Urkaine’s largest banks was also affected.
A massive denial of service (DDoS) attack was also reported by Monobank’s CEO Oleh Horokhovskyi via their social channels.
He announced “ Massive DDoS attack on mono. Target of attack: entry points to Amazon (Banks, website). Everything is under control.”
Image credit: Anete Lusina, Pexels.