Cybersecurity specialists from the Ukrainian HUR (Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine) have claimed a successful cyber attack on IPL Consulting. They reportedly destroyed its entire IT infrastructure, resulting in communication outages across the country.
For your information, IPL Consulting is a Russian company that implements information systems in the local industry. As per HUR’s announcement on Facebook, the company is among the most advanced of all Russian enterprises facilitating information system implementation services to institutions in the automotive, aviation, heavy engineering, and defense sectors. Ukrainian intelligence reports that HUR specialists targeted dozens of its servers and databases.
IPL Consulting’s internal network was breached by hackers, resulting in the deletion of over 60 terabytes of data and the destruction of dozens of servers and databases. The full cost of damages remains unclear. According to HUR, the damage is particularly significant amidst ongoing sanctions pressure and affects numerous Russian companies operating in the defence sector.
Cyberattacks have become a common tool in the Russia-Ukraine war, with a devastating attack on telecom firm Kyivstar on December 12, 2023, resulting in widespread communication outages. The Russian hacker group Solntsepek, linked to Russia’s military intelligence agency, claimed responsibility for this attack. Ukrainian cyber specialists have also been quite aggressive on the digital front lately.
In a separate attack, a Ukrainian hacking group “Blackjack” infiltrated Russia’s Main Military Construction Directorate for Special Projects, downloading 1.2 TB of data, including technical documentation for over 500 military sites, confirmed HUR on its Telegram channel on January 19, 2024. The group also transmitted critical intelligence about Russian facilities to Ukrainian armed forces. The hackers temporarily disrupted the company’s operations.
Another cyberattack was launched against the Russian Far Eastern Research Center of Space Hydrometeorology “Planeta” in Khabarovsk on January 24, 2024, resulting in the destruction of 280 servers and the loss of 2 petabytes (2 million gigabytes) of data, valued at least $10 million. This attack is attributed to Volunteer Patriots from the BO Team group. Planeta is responsible for receiving/processing military satellite data.
According to HUR’s claim, hackers also managed to destroy weather and satellite data for various Russian agencies, including the Russian Ministry of Emergency Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, and Roscosmos. HUR states that the over $350,000 supercomputer cannot be restored, and given the Western sanctions on Russia, the country cannot obtain this software.
Moreover, they disrupted air conditioning, humidification systems, and emergency power supply regulations. The HUR also stated that the attack disconnected a Russian station in the Arctic, affecting strategic companies vital to defence and supporting Russian occupation forces.
The incident follows a previous incident in which the HUR collected 100 gigabytes of confidential, intelligence data valued at $1.5 billion, and belonging to Special Technology Center LLC, operating in Russia’s military-industrial complex.
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