Russian-web provider Qwerty down, Ukraine’s IT Army takes credit

The IT Army of Ukraine claims to have taken down the Moscow-based internet provider Qwerty in its latest attack on the Kremlin – the second time a major Russian telecom service has been hit in less than a week.

Ukraine’s pseudo-official hacker group boasting of the three day-long attack on its Telegram channel Tuesday.

“In Moscow, it's not only cold, but also, there's no internet,” The IT Army posted in both Russian and English.

“Qwerty, one of the largest internet providers in the enemy's capital, has been unable to restore service for three days due to our attack,” it said.

“Rest assured, it's used not only by civilians, but also by various special services in the city.“

The post continued to chide Qwerty’s parent company, Rostelecom, and another of its subsidiaries Central Telegraph, for failing to stop the attack.

“Central telegraph announced the return of telegraph services instead of providing internet. Just kidding, of course, but it sounds like a decent Plan B for a country built on caveman principles,” the hacker collective said.

The global internet monitoring site NetBlocks confirmed that Qwerty service was down for Russian users, showing the most severe drop in connectivity happening around January 15th.

According to Ukraine’s Kyiv Post, Qwerty had registered at least 127 crashes in Moscow over the last 24 hours, followed by a series of complaints from Russian users, according to the Russian web monitoring site DownRadar.

Cybernews can confirm the Qwerty website was not loading as of this report.

Russian internet provider Qwerty down
Image by Cybernews

Russian telecom service, M9com, suffered a similar attack on January 9th, also reported by NetBlocks.

That attack was reported to be carried out by another hacktivist group known as the BlackJack group, also said to be connected to Ukraine’s law enforcement and intelligence arm, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU).

Sources said the Blackjack hack knocked out internet and television services for about half the population of Moscow.

The hit was said to be in retaliation for Russia’s mid-December attack on Kyivstar, one of Ukraine’s largest telecom providers, causing an outage for more than half of the war-torn nation for nearly a week.

The BlackJack group claimed that the M9com cyberattack was just a “warm-up” and Russia should expect another larger attack in the future.

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