A Ukrainian hacker group known as Blackjack hacked the Moscow-based internet service provider M9com, wiping terabytes of data and leaving some residents in Moscow with no internet and television access.
According to Ukrinform, the attack wiped out about 20 terabytes of data and took out M9com’s official website, mail server and cyber protection services, among other services.
The hackers also downloaded more than 10 gigabytes of data from the company's mail server and client databases and made them publicly available through the Tor browser.
The hackers called the incident a “warm-up attack” before another massive cyberattack that would act as “serious revenge for Kyivstar,” referring to the recent Russian hacking of Ukraine’s biggest telecommunication company in December that left millions without internet access for a few days.
An unnamed source from a law enforcement agency informed Ukrinform of the incident and said the hacker group was likely affiliated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
“Hackers from the Blackjack group, who are likely related to the SBU, hacked the Moscow-based internet service provider M9com and destroyed its servers,” said the source.
It is likely that the hackers gained access to the back-end operation of M9com as they were able to wipe out data from the servers, similar to the Kyivstar incident.
This type of attack is less common than the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack commonly employed by hackers, which aims to paralyze a system by flooding it with automated requests, rendering the service unavailable.
SBU’s Head of Cyber Security Department Ilya Vityuk said Russian hackers were inside Kyivstar’s system “at least since May 2023” in an interview with Reuters, a claim Kyivstar spokesperson Irina Lelichenko denied.
According to Vityuk, Russia has conducted close to 9,000 cyber attacks on state resources and critical infrastructure of Ukraine since the offset of the full-scale invasion.
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