​Hacked Into Webcams to Spy on Ukrainian Air Defense: russian Scheme Uncovered

IP camera for surveillance / Open source illustrative photo
IP camera for surveillance / Open source illustrative photo

Ukrainian security services detect and fight cameras, hacked by russians to reveal the locations of Ukrainian air defense systems

Two robotic online stream security cameras were hacked by russian secret services to spy on the operation of the air defense in Kyiv during the missile attack on the city on January 2nd. The webcams were located and put down, the Security Service of Ukraine reports.

The agency states that these cameras helped russian armed forces to monitor the results of missile strikes and adjust fire, in particular, those targeting air defense assets and critical infrastructure.

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These cameras were hacked to provide imagery to russian armed forces
These cameras were hacked to provide imagery to russian armed forces / Photo credit: Security Service of Ukraine

The devices themselves were initially used for civilian surveillance, yet russians managed to gain access to the live feed from the webcams and turn them in the direction they needed to look. The hackers remotely changed the settings, controlling the observed angle and making it transmit the image via YouTube.

SSU noted that "complex measures aimed at neutralizing new attempts by the enemy to conduct reconnaissance and undermining activities through online cameras" continue. Moreover, the statistic provided by the agency says 10,000 IP cameras have been taken down since February 2022 because they were or could be used by russian forces for gathering intelligence and adjustment of strikes.

On a reminder note, russian invasion forces launched a massive airstrike against Ukraine on the night of January 2, 2024, with most of the weapons raining down on the capital city of Kyiv. A total of 134 aerial threats, including 10 Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and Shahed-family loitering munitions, were launched at Ukraine, 107 of them destroyed by Ukrainian air defenses.

Read more: Ukrainian Military Destroys Newest russian Yastreb-AV Radar System for the First Time, Attacks Equipment with HIMARS