Ukrainian hacktivists extracted personal information, including sensitive military data and even nude photos of one of the targeted military wives.
The hacktivists convinced the wife of a serving colonel in the Russian military to participate in a patriotic photoshoot. She then convinced 12 more military wives to join, which allowed the hacktivists to extract personal and sensitive information.
Ukrainian hacktivists group Cyber Resistance aka the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance reportedly came up with a unique strategy to hack into their targeted Russian military personnel’s email accounts.
The hacktivists extracted information on Colonel Sergey Valeriyevich Artoshchenko by tricking his wife into doing a patriotic photoshoot. For your information, Artoshchenko is commissioned at an aviation unit (960th Assault Aviation Regiment) in Crimea.
In 2018, Russian hackers were reportedly accused of posing as ISIS and sending death threats to US army wives. When it comes to posing as someone else, this incident bears some similarities to the recent hack by Ukrainian hacktivists.
Cyber Resistance and InforNapalm
InfoNapalm was created in 2014, and Cyber Resistance in 2016 in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea. These groups have been spreading information about the disputes between Russia and Ukraine over the years. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, their efforts to sabotage the Russian military have doubled.
How Cyber Resistance Exploited Russian Military Wives?
Cyber Resistance hacktivists targeted the colonel for his reported involvement in the bombing of a civilian-packed theatre in Mariupol in March 2022.
The hacktivists convinced his wife for a photoshoot wearing her husband’s uniform jacket under the pretext that the photos will be featured on a pinup calendar to increase the Russian military’s morale.
Mrs. Artoshchenko was contacted by one of the hackers posing as an officer from her husband’s regiment. She contacted 12 other military wives to participate in this photoshoot.
The unsuspecting army wives took photos wearing the uniforms of their husbands. The photos provided Ukrainian hackers with enough information to track down the personal details of their husbands, mainly Col. Artoshchenko. The other officers were also involved in the attack.
Cyber Resistance hacktivists collaborated with a Pro-Ukrainian open-source intelligence group, InfoNapalm, to publish the data on its Telegram channel.
How Did Hackers Locate Officers?
The hacktivists obtained sufficient professional data from the target’s uniform and used his COVID-19 vaccination records to locate his current home, duty station, and other details. They hacked into the Russian Ministry of Defence website portal to hack email and get details on his salary.
In addition, they got almost all key personal details, such as the colonel’s date of birth, address, and phone numbers. The data is available on the InfoNapalm website. Hackers even managed to locate and publish his photo and images of his official documents and residence.
Moreover, they didn’t spare his wife as they hacked and shared her private data, including her phone number, passport number, birth date, and email ID to the InfoNapalm website. Hackers also found near-nude and nude photos of Mrs. Artoshchenko, two of which were published by InfoNapalm.
“Among the large volumes of correspondence and spam in the mail dumps of the 960th AAR commander, Col. Sergey Atroshchenko, we managed to find and isolate various detailed lists of pilots, performance evaluation records of officers, bulletins, memos, theoretical and practical calculations, etc. which are of material interest for the Ukrainian intelligence,” InfoNapalm revealed in its report.
The news outlet said it would not post the full data dump for public viewing because they want Russians to keep speculating about the scope of the leak. The platform thanked their “hacktivists friends from Cyber Resistance” for providing an opportunity to post this “exciting story” for the public.
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