Ukraine claims cyberattack on Russian civil aviation


Publicly announcing an offensive cyber operation is highly unusual, but Ukraine has taken this unprecedented step. Ukrainian intelligence services have confirmed the successful hacking of the Russian civil aviation department.

According to the Ukrainian defense intelligence report published on the official website, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry carried out a cyberattack against Russian civil aviation.

Subsequently, intelligence services said they had obtained a significant volume of confidential documents from Rosaviatsia, a subdivision of the Russian Transport Ministry. This acquisition follows a successful and complex operation in cyberspace.

Cyberattack on Russian civil aviation

As a result of a complex and successful special operation in cyberspace, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that it had obtained a significant amount of classified documents from Rosaviatsiya, the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia.

THE Press release said: “Defense Intelligence of Ukraine informs that as a result of a complex and successful special operation in cyberspace, a large volume of confidential documents of the structural subdivision of the Russian Ministry of Transport – the Federal Agency of air transport (Rosaviatsia) – is now acquired.”

The aforementioned organization is responsible for flight safety and monitors any emergency that arises when a Russian aircraft is in operation.

“The above-mentioned agency is responsible for flight safety and registers all emergency cases during the operation of Russian aviation,” the statement said.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, the agency’s information systems were hacked and obtained Rosaviatsiya’s daily reports for more than a year and a half.

The press release further stated: “The data obtained as a result of hacking and penetration of enemy information systems includes a list of daily reports of Rosaviatsiya for the entire Russian Federation for more than a year and half. »

Details revealed by Russian civil aviation hack

Details of data exposed by Russian civil society aerial cyber attack aim to prove that the civil aviation sector of what Ukraine calls “terrorist Russia” is on the verge of collapse.

here are the key points from the exposed data.

  1. In January 2023 alone, 185 accidents were reported in Russian civil aviation. About a third of these were classified as events with varying degrees of risk. The “dry superjet” – a Russian short-haul aircraft – led the way with 34 emergency cases.
  2. 150 cases of aircraft breakdowns were reported in Russia in the first nine months of 2023. Fifty of these cases were seen during the same period in 2022. This means that flying in Russia is now three times more risky high for safety.
  3. In Russian aviation, the most crucial components remain engines and landing gear, along with other crucial elements like hydraulic systems, flaps and software.
  4. Russia, the aggressor state, will struggle to retain its heavily exploited aircraft. Moscow is trying to transfer aircraft maintenance to Iran, where the necessary work is carried out “handicraft” – without the necessary certification – due to a lack of expertise and capacity.
  5. As of March 2022, Russia had approximately 820 foreign-made civil aircraft. Furthermore, almost 70% of the fleet has undergone an “overhaul” involving non-genuine spare parts, but only 10% of these had benefited from such an “overhaul” at the time.
  6. In Russia, there is a phenomenon known as “aviation cannibalism”: planes are dismantled to repair others due to a severe lack of spare parts. According to available information, almost 35% of Russian aircraft had been “donated” by mid-2023.
  7. Due to sanctions, the majority of Soviet An-2 aircraft currently cannot take off because their engines were produced in Poland but are no longer available for purchase.
  8. In January 2023 alone, 19 separate failures occurred among 220 Airbus aircraft in Russia. Specifically, nine Aeroflot planes reported 17 cases of smoke.
  9. Of the 230 Boeing aircraft operated in Russia, 33 technical failures of various aircraft systems have been documented.
  10. The Russian fleet has 21 Brazilian Embraers, and one in seven of them failed to withstand the operating conditions in Russia.

What do we understand about the cyberattack on Russian civil aviation

State-sponsored cyberattacks are not new, but the distinct aspect here is the open acknowledgment of the attack by the state. Russian civil aviation led by Ukraine cyber attack raises questions about ethical conduct.

It also raises questions about the country’s intentions behind such recognition: is it an attempt to showcase its cyber capabilities or to emphasize the importance vulnerability of the adversary?

However, such trends may have serious consequences in the future. Governments may feel increasingly encouraged to engage in cybercrime, leading to increasingly devastating consequences.

Additionally, this unprecedented recognition of a country carrying out a cyberattack against an adversary’s intelligence services could signify frustration, perhaps stemming from the disclosure of the information gathered. This frustration could be attributed to the substantial losses Ukraine has suffered in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only and users take full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber ​​Express assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or consequences of the use of this information.

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