The Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (MoD) said it infected thousands of servers of the State Tax Administration of Russia with malware, destroying databases and backups. During the operation, Ukrainian military spies invaded not only one of the “important well-protected central servers” of the Russian Federal Tax Service (FSS), but also more than 2,300 regional servers throughout Russia and occupied the Crimean peninsula. The attack also affected Russian high-tech companies that operate the FNS base.
The attack led to the “complete destruction” of the agency’s infrastructure, according to a statement released by the GUR on Tuesday. The HUR stated that for many years they ensured the functioning of the Russian tax system and destroyed the configuration files.
The Internet connection between the central office of the SNF in Moscow and thousands of its regional branches is also “paralyzed”, the HUR reported. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the Federal Tax Service “did not try to restore its service for 4 days in a row”, but will probably remain “paralyzed” for at least 1 month and “will not fully recover from the attack”.
The allegations have not been independently verified — Russian state media have kept quiet about the hack, and FNS has not publicly responded to it.
This is already the second operation against state bodies of Russia, for which GUR is responsible. In November the agency admitted it was behind a “smart cyber operation” against the Russian government’s civil aviation organization (also known as Rosaviatsia).
Until recently, only Ukrainian hacking groups and hacktivists publicly announced such attacks, including attacks on Russian airlines, banks and Internet providers. A source in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told Future News that the agency was documented working with pro-Ukrainian hackers to hack Russia’s largest private bank.
Ukrainian mass media reported that the Ukrainian hacker group Blackjack together with the SBU hacked the website of the Ministry of Labor of Russia. They allegedly managed to obtain personal data of military personnel and information about the military operations of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The SBU has not publicly acknowledged this case.