Ukraine Claims it “Paralyzed” Russia’s Tax System

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Ukraine has claimed a major scalp in the ongoing cyber-war with Russia, saying it has effectively crippled the Kremlin’s tax system.

The country’s Ministry of Defense said its Defence Intelligence unit (GUR) conducted a “special operation” leading to the compromise of central servers of Russia’s Federal Taxation service (FTS), and over 2300 regional servers.

These extended across Russia and annexed territories in Ukraine including Crimea, it added.

Both these servers and those belonging to FTS contractor were reportedly infected with malware that wiped essential configuration files.

Read more on cyber-warfare in Ukraine: Ukraine Suffers Significant Internet Disruption Following Cyber-Attack

The GUR claimed it wiped an entire database of these files and backup copies, crippling tax systems inside Russia and enabling Ukrainian military intelligence to view all of Russia’s tax data.

“Communication between the central office in Moscow and the 2300 Russian territorial departments is paralyzed, as well as between the Russia’s federal taxation service and, which was the tax datacenter,” it said.

“In fact, this means a complete destruction of the infrastructure of one of the main state bodies of terrorist Russia and numerous related tax data for a long period.”

The GUR claimed that the FTS had been trying to restore its systems for four days without success following the operation, and would likely be out of action for at least a month.

The operation has not been independently verified, but if true would be a major blow for Russia after suspected Kremlin-backed operatives managed to take down Ukraine’s leading mobile network operator, Kyivstar, this week.

The GUR’s only previous operation of this size was when it claimed to have accessed and leaked classified information from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) last month.

Image credit: NickolayV /

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