A new report reveals a clever feat of social engineering from Ukrainian hackers, who tricked the wife of one Russian officer into revealing the people responsible for the bombing of Mariupol.
As a note, as far as we could dig, despite the fact that this report was picked up by multiple outlets, including newspapers like The Daily Mail and The Mirror, there is only one source for this, so take the information with a grain of salt.
While it could be an entirely fabricated story, the original story includes many details that make it sound genuine . It is also an interesting anecdote about “hacking” the human element, a tactic that cybersecurity experts call “social engineering”.
Also as a note, the original story has images of a sexual nature with the wife who was supposedly tricked into revealing Russian troops identity – so click at your own risk.
According to Ukrainian hacktivist group Cyber Resistance and the volunteer organization Inform Napalm, Colonel Sergei Atroshchenko, the commander of the 980th Assault Aviation Regiment, ordered warplanes to drop two 500kg bombs on Mariupol on March 16, 2022. Hackers also say that the Ukrainian-born Atroshchenko, 42, personally gave orders for warplanes to launch attacks on civilian targets, including Mariupol’s maternity hospital,
To identify the Russian war criminals who helped him, the Ukrainian hacktivists hatched a clever scheme: trick Atroshchenko’s wife into doing a “patriotic photo shoot” with the rest of the wives and girlfriends of the regiment soldiers.
Relying on his wife’s Lilia support, they convinced her to gather 12 wives to pose in their husband’s uniforms on the one year anniversary of the Mariupol massacre.
With the pictures taken, the Ukrainian hackers had all the details they needed to identify the men involved in the Mariupol bombing, where hundreds of Ukrainians were killed.
From a Daily Mail report:
“Just two days after the hackers received the images from Lilia, Atroshchenko’s regiment was awarded honours as part of an executive order signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The regiment was elevated to the honorary title of ‘guards’ for their ‘mass heroism and valour, fortitude and courage in combat operations to protect the Fatherland’, according to the decree.
Inform Napalm claimed hackers had sent details they had obtained on Atroshchenko to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to contribute to the ongoing investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine.”
For other clever hacking from Ukraine, check out our previous coverage: