Ukrainian hackers lure Russian soldiers into sharing their location, then bomb their base

Ukrainian hackers have been baiting Russian troops into sharing their locations with fake profiles of conventionally attractive women on Facebook and Russian social media websites, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper ran an interview with Ukrainian hacker Nikita Knysh, whose cyber security company HackControl—nicknamed Hackyourmom—has launched a cyber war on Russia since the beginning of the country’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, recruiting high-level and low-level Ukrainian hackers into his group.

One of the hacking achievements for which Knysh takes credit is the honeypotting of Russian military using fictitious accounts of conventionally attractive women on Facebook and Russian social media platforms. Knysh claims that hackers catfished Russian troops using the false identities, tricking them into providing pictures that the hackers geotagged and sent to the Ukrainian military.

Additionally, it has been discovered that the Kremlin has been spreading pro-Russian propaganda on the conflict by creating fake accounts using the images of conventionally attractive women.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonpartisan research tank that focuses on countering hatred, disinformation, and extremism, found ten Twitter accounts that targeted audiences in the Middle East and North Africa with images of beauty and fashion influencers in a study released in July.

Although the phony accounts created by Russian hackers propagated ardent nationalism and anti-Western sentiments well beyond Russia’s borders, the fake profiles created by Ukrainian hackers had a direct influence on the ongoing conflict.

Knysh claimed that his squad assisted in locating a Russian military outpost close to the captured Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which was later destroyed by Ukrainian fire.

Maxim, a member of Knysh’s squad, said, “My initial thinking was—I am effective, I can assist my nation.” “I then came to the realization that I want more of this—I want to continually uncover new bases.” The military forces of Ukraine declined to comment on whether hackers were involved in the attack on the Russian outpost. Russians had already revealed their locations to Ukrainian soldiers.

Unconfirmed allegations by Ukrainian media source Hromadske claim that Ukrainian HIMARS bombed a Russian camp in Popasna, in the eastern Luhansk area, on August 14 after Russian war journalist Serhiy Sreda visited the facility on August 8. Reports state that Sreda released a picture of the Russian paramilitary group the Wagner Group that had established a base there.