A mysterious hacker got into 986 cryptocurrency wallets managed by the Russian special services to help Ukraine, the New Voice of Ukraine informed.
The initial attacks occurred weeks before Russia’s full-scale assault, when an unknown user destroyed $300,000 in Bitcoin, according to Coindesk. According to Chainalysis, a bitcoin tracking business, they began sending money to the Ukrainian government when the war started.
All of the wallets are thought to have belonged to Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency, the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Federal Security Service, though this has not been confirmed. Although not all owners have been named, Chainalysis claims that at least three have ties to the Kremlin and that two were reportedly engaged in the SolarWinds software hack in 2020.
The hacker also left Russian notes for the wallet owners, alleging that the contents were used as payment for the work of Moscow-based hackers. Russia has been known to use hackers in its assault against Ukraine and other countries, launching waves of cyberattacks against Kyiv from the beginning of the invasion.
Analysts believe the perpetrator obtained access to the wallets through hacking or as part of an inside job and that he may have been previously a member of the Russian secret services.
Hackers on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine are using cyberwarfare to their advantage. On February 24, the collective Anonymous and the Belarusian Cyber Partisans declared war on the Kremlin. They launched a series of large-scale cyberattacks against Russia.
In April 2023, Ukrainian hackers from the Cyber Resistance group hacked people close to Russian hackers and acquired the first-ever photo of the GRU hacker unit commander wanted by the FBI for meddling in the U.S. election.