Russian hackers have been in the system of Kyivstar since at least May last year before launching the largest cyberattack in history, which shut down the operator’s operations for several days.
Facts from the SBU
Ilya Vitiuk, Head of the SSU Cyber Security Department, said this in an interview with Reuters. He also said that cyber specialists helped to repel new cyberattacks on the operator by Russia. And this should be a “big warning” to the West.
“So far, we can say with certainty that they have been in the system at least since May 2023,” said Vitiuk. – “I can’t say now when they got… full access: probably at least since November.
According to him, the SSU estimates that the hackers could have stolen personal information, located phones, intercepted SMS messages, and possibly hijacked Telegram accounts.
However, the company’s spokeswoman Iryna Lelichenko denies that hackers were inside the infrastructure and had access to subscribers’ personal data.
“Kyivstar does not confirm the information about the alleged months-long access to subscribers’ personal data by hackers inside the company and their leakage. The official investigation into the cyberattack on Kyivstar’s network that took place on December 12, 2023 is still ongoing, so various versions are being considered, but none of them can be considered final until the investigation is officially completed,” Lelichenko said.
According to her, no facts of personal data leakage of subscribers were found during the investigation. The cyberattack on Kyivstar’s network affected some of the technological systems responsible for communication, but they were restored within a few days thanks to the professional work of the company’s specialists and partners.
She also adds that while the SBU investigation is ongoing, Kyivstar has no right to talk about the course of the investigation, details of the hacker attack, the extent of the damage, etc.
Today Kyivstar’s network operates as usual and provides all basic services to its subscribers. 99% of the network’s telecommunications equipment in the government-controlled areas is in working order.
Kyivstar has already implemented additional cybersecurity measures, including enhanced access control, additional server and workstation monitoring systems, and plans to take further steps to strengthen cybersecurity.
“And let me remind you that the company’s subscribers who could not use the services due to the unstable network operation during the cyberattack will receive a bonus – the next billing period without paying for the service package. And the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive UAH 100 million of our support,” summarizes the representative of Kyivstar.