Ukrainian hackers have been getting really creative to trick Russian soldiers. Their latest ploy has been to set up fake accounts of attractive women to lure soldiers into sending them photos, which they located and then passed to the Ukrainian military.
At the start of the Russian invasion, Nikita Knysh, an IT professional from Kharkiv, announced that he wanted to use his hacking skills to help his country. To do so, he recruited other hackers and founded a group nicknamed Hackyourmom. The group now consists of 30 hackers from across the country.
In August 2022, they were able to dupe Russian soldiers in Melitopol by creating fake accounts and pretending to be attractive women on numerous social media platforms. The hackers got to know the soldiers and ultimately convinced them to send photos of them on the front. So sexy.
“The Russians, they always want to f***. They send [a] lot of shit to ‘girls,’ to prove that they are warriors,” Knysh said.
The hackers were able to identify that the photos had been taken from a remote Russian military base near occupied Melitopol in southern Ukraine. They then gave that information to Ukraine’s military who attacked the base several days later.
Knysh also mentioned that his team had participated in other hacks, including leaking the databases of Russian military contractors and tricking Russian television stations into playing news clips about Ukrainian civilian casualties.
It’s unclear just how much involvement this group has had in helping the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Ukrainian officials declined to discuss hackers’ roles in the attack on that military base but at the beginning of the invasion, Ukraine’s digital minister did ask civilians with “digital talents” to join the country’s “IT army.”