Ukrainian news website Ukrainska Pravda says the nation’s Centre for Defence Strategies think tank has obtained the personal details of 120,000 Russian servicemen fighting in Ukraine. The publication has now shared this data freely on its website.
The Register and others have been unable to fully verify the accuracy of the data from the leak. The records include what appears to be names, addresses, passport numbers, unit names, and phone numbers. Some open source intelligence researchers on Twitter said they found positive matches, as did sources who spoke confidentially to El Reg; others said they couldn’t verify dip-sampled data.
Whether or not the database’s contents is real, the impact on Russian military morale – knowing that your country’s enemies have your personal details and can contact your family if you’re captured, killed, or even still alive – won’t be insignificant.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine progresses, or not, cyber-attacks orchestrated by or for the benefit of the Kremlin against Ukraine and the West appear limited, while on the ground, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed, according to Ukrainian officials.
Former UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) chief Ciaran Martin noted in a blog post that even those skeptical of claims that Russia would wage cyber-Armageddon during the invasion will be surprised at the lack of activity. The online assaults against Ukraine of late represent Russia’s “long-standing campaign of cyber harassment of the country … rather than a serious escalation of it,” he wrote.
And now you get into the combatant following orders kind of argument – do you really want to be the side attacking their spouses and children back home?