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Ukraine Cracks Down on Group Selling Hacked Accounts to Pro-Russia Propagandists

Ukrainian authorities take down cybercrime group that hacked 30 million accounts

Ukrainian authorities say they have taken down a pro-Russia hacking group that compromised user accounts and then sold them for profit on dark web portals.

According to the cyber department of Ukraine's Security Service (SSU), the hackers targeted user accounts of individuals in Ukraine and across Europe.

Leveraging the unauthorized access, the hackers harvested the personal information of their victims and then offered the data for sale on the dark web, receiving payments via multiple electronic platforms, including YuMoney, Qiwi, and WebMoney, which are prohibited in Ukraine.

SSU estimates that the hacking group had sold roughly 30 million user accounts, making a profit of roughly $375,000.

The Ukrainian authorities say that the user accounts were mainly purchased by pro-Russian propagandists, who targeted the account owners for disinformation and large-scale destabilization through fake news.

SSU says that the group included several hackers located in Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, who used malware to hack into victims’ accounts.

During searches performed at the suspects’ homes, police seized hard disk drives containing the personal information of victims, along with other types of computer equipment, flash drives, mobile phones, and SIM cards.

It’s unclear how many individuals were arrested and which online services were targeted by the cybercriminals.

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