Hackers have targeted the phones of Ukrainian leaders as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, according to a senior cybersecurity official.
According to Victor Zhora, deputy head of Ukraine’s State Special Communications Service, phones used by the country’s public officials has been targeted on a regular basis. “We notice a lot of attempts to hack Ukrainian officials’ phones, mostly through the propagation of malware,” Zhora said at an online news conference to commemorate the 100th day since Russian troops crossed the border.
So far, Zhora said, his service hasn’t seen any proof that Ukrainian devices have been hacked.
Following a series of exposes last year about how phones used by presidents, ministers, and other government officials had been targeted or infiltrated, the hacking of government leaders’ devices has risen to the top of the worldwide agenda.
The ability to hack into such gadgets remotely and discreetly using sophisticated spy software – commonly referred to as a “zero-click” hack since it involves no interaction from the target – is especially feared. According to Reuters, top European Commission officials’ phones were targeted with zero-click spyware in April.
Zhora claimed he and his colleagues were aware of the possibility of zero-click intrusions, but he wouldn’t say whether they had been targeted by such attacks “We’ll keep an eye on it,” he said. The announcement comes just days after police in 11 nations shut down the FluBot mobile phone fraud, which spread around the world via phoney text messages. In May, Dutch cybercops spearheaded an operation to combat the spyware, which infects Android phones via messages claiming to be from a delivery company or claiming that a person has a voicemail waiting.
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