The battle between Ukrainian and Russian hackers for control of the cameras

The Ukrainian government calls on voluntary hackers to report cameras that could give information to Russians.

The eye of Moscow behind the public cameras. The IT Army of Ukraine on May 17, 2023, asked all hackers to identify surveillance devices, public or private so that the government can disable them in the event of a vulnerability.

On its Telegram channel, the collective set up by Kyiv indicates that “the cameras transmit information on the operation of air defense systems and the movement of military equipment”. Therefore, they could be “of great use to the enemy“. 

It is for this reason that the organization calls on all voluntary hackers to indicate the cameras which could be in public access to the government to deactivate them. Most often, this is to report the IP address of the device to find it easily.

Targeted air defenses

The call comes two days after Kyiv’s anti-aircraft defense destroyed six Russian Kinjal hypersonic missiles. On the night of May 15-16, Russia tried to destroy American Patriot batteries with its most expensive ammunition.

In vain, since all the projectiles have been stopped. Only one American system was slightly damaged and is already back in service. Nevertheless, Kyiv prefers to avoid having its defense batteries targeted with each salvo of missiles and seeks to stop the flow of sensitive information.

Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense at work on May 16. // Source: Twitter/@Joeontheloose

The Kremlin hackers seek, in fact, to identify and follow the weapons provided by the Western powers by attacking the surveillance cameras of municipalities or businesses. US intelligence has warned Ukrainians that Russians are seeking to infiltrate security apps in cafes in the capital to keep tabs on their whereabouts. The Ukrainians have been doing the same since the invasion of the country and go so far as to broadcast the Ukrainian anthem in businesses.

Hacking a camera is also easier than you think since sometimes all you have to do is steal identifiers and infiltrate a dedicated application. The protection of information is even more vital for Ukraine, as the army prepares its counter-offensive to recover the occupied territories.

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