The Secret Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced that it has a detained a hacker attempting to aid Russian forces in Ukraine. The unnamed suspect offered to provide Russian troops mobile communication services within Ukraine. The suspect has also been accused of sending text messages to Ukrainian security officers urging them to surrender and routing phone calls from Russia to Russian troops in Ukraine. SBU officials stated “Up to a thousand calls were made through this hacker in one day. Many of them are from the top leadership of the enemy army.” The SBU said the increased communications provided by the hacker led to tens or even hundreds of Ukrainian deaths and the individual will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Russian forces have had communication issues since the beginning of the invasion. It was reported earlier in the month that Russian forces accidentally degraded their secure communications systems by destroying Ukrainian 3G towers. Russian encrypted communication capabilities require 3G capabilities to work properly. Russian forces have been unable to communicate securely, allowing Ukrainian forces to monitor Russian communications. Russian forces will continue to find creative ways to establish secure communications, such as using third party threat actors to provide services. It is also likely a cyber-attack could be carried out against Ukraine by targeting their own communication capabilities.