Ukraine telecoms giant struck by threat actor

Kyivstar says it has suffered a cyberattack that shut down internet services for millions of users. Digital analyst Cybersecurity Help has described the scale of the attack as “massive.”

“This morning we were the target of a powerful hacker attack,” Kyivstar said in a December 12th post on Facebook, quoted by Cybersecurity Help on its web blog. “It caused a technical failure, as a result of which mobile communication and internet access services are temporarily unavailable.”

Cybersecurity Help, based in Czechia, said the cyberattack on Kyivstar had affected millions of subscribers but also cited the telecoms company as saying that it had seen no indication, as yet, that users’ personally identifying information had been compromised.

“Currently, it’s unclear what threat actor may be responsible for the attack,” added Cybersecurity Help, which also said the incident had shut down around one in 20 ATMs operated by PrivatBank, one of the biggest financial services providers in Ukraine.

“The outage has also impacted some POS [point-of-sale] terminals and ATMs of PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine, that use Kyivstar’s network,” said Cybersecurity Help, adding that other local providers like Vodafone Ukraine have also been impacted due to a sudden influx of new users.

Ukraine has been the subject of repeated cyberattacks by Russia since – and, according to many analysts, before – the Kremlin launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February last year.

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