Hackers pretending to be women online fool Russian soldiers into giving up war secrets
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Ukrainian hackers have taken to outrageous tactics to find the location of Russian soldiers by setting up fake social media accounts of attractive women.
IT professional Nikita Knysh has been utilising his expertise to help the Ukrainian fight, contacting the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) and moving his cyber security company HackControl into the basement of a wallet factory.
Unlike wars of the past Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has seen vast and varied tactics from both sides utilising new technology.
Online dating apps and social media have been turned into weapons of war by Knysh and his team of 30 hackers from across the country.
According to The FT, Knysh’s cyber-army created fake accounts pretending to be attractive women across multiple social media platforms.
Posing as the women, they became friendly with Putin’s men and ultimately honeypot them into sending photos of themselves on the frontline.
Once those soldiers had sent through their photos posing as strong, burly men, the hackers could identify that the images had been taken from a remote Russian military base near Melitopol in southern Ukraine.
Knysh and his hackers handed over the information to Ukraine’s military intelligence, and just a few days later, the base was attacked.
Probably the most intense instance of a cheeky DM slide backfiring.
Knysh told The FT: “The Russians, they always want to f**k.
"They send [a] lot of s**t to 'girls’ to prove that they are warriors."
The hacking team explained their sense of pride in knowing they could utilise their skills in the resistance against the Russian invasion.
The cyber-war has raged on both sides of the divide.
We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.co/Ie4ESfxoSn. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
At the very start of the invasion, Ukraine’s digital minister Mykhailo Fedorovsent out a public message claiming that they were creating an ‘IT army’ in a plea for ‘digital talents’.
Knysh and his men heeded their call.
He claims that he helped in other instances such as leaking the databases of Russian military contractors and tricking Russian TV stations to report on clips about Ukrainian civilian casualties.
The IT professional added: “For me, this felt like combat.
"With no money, with no brilliant software, and even no brilliant hacks — you can use fraudsters, the dark web against your enemy."
Never trust that stranger on the internet.