In a recent development, hackers affiliated with Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense announced the successful compromise of the Russian Federal Taxation Service (FNS). According to the military intelligence service, this hacking operation was executed as part of a strategic mission within the territory of Russia.
The Ukrainian defense intelligence directorate (GUR) disclosed that they infiltrated and disrupted thousands of servers belonging to the Russian tax service, erasing both databases and backups in the process. The cyber units from Ukraine managed to breach a central server of the tax service, described as one of the “key well-protected central servers,” along with over 2,300 regional servers spread across Russia and occupied Crimea. Additionally, a Russian tech company responsible for operating the database of the Russian Federal Taxation Service (FNS) was targeted by these state-sponsored hackers.
A statement released by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine outlined the details of the special operation, stating, “During the special operation, military intelligence managed to break into one of the well-protected key central servers of the Federal Tax Service (FSS of the Russian Federation), and further into more than 2,300 of its regional servers throughout Russia, as well as in the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. As a result of the cyber attack, all servers received malware. At the same time, the Russian IT company Office.ed-it.ru, which served the FSB of the Russian Federation, was attacked in the same way.”
The statement also revealed that Ukrainian military intelligence successfully intercepted internet traffic containing tax data for the entire country of Russia. The cyberattack disrupted communication between the central office of the Russian Federal Taxation Service and its 2,300 territorial offices. Despite four days of continuous efforts by Russian experts to restore the service, they have been unsuccessful. Ukraine intelligence anticipates that the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation will remain paralyzed for at least a month, deeming the complete recovery of the tax system as impossible.
The statement concludes, “The cyber attack of the GUR of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine was another serious blow to the regime in the Kremlin, which temporarily lost control over taxes and fees.”
This incident follows Ukraine’s intelligence service announcement in late November that they successfully hacked Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, ‘Rosaviatsia.’ This strategic cyber operation targeted the government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating civil aviation in Russia. The state-sponsored hackers claimed to have obtained sensitive documents providing evidence of a crisis in Russia’s aviation industry.