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Investigator journalist Olena Mudra reports an attempt to hack her Telegram profile

28.09.2023, 15:40
Photo: Olena Mudra on Facebook
Photo: Olena Mudra on Facebook

Olena Mudra, an investigator journalist from Zakarpattia, says that unknown persons tried to access her Telegram profile twice on September 27. She believes this has to do with her reporting.

Mudra reported this on Facebook and shared the details with the IMI.

"Experts from the Digital Security Lab, whom I shared the screenshots with, confitrmed that the official notifications from Telegram and the messages sent through CloudOTP suggest a hacking attempt," she wrote.

She says that this is the first time that such a thing has happened to her.

"But I no longer believe in coincidences and consider this a consequence of my reporting, in particular of my remarks on the actions of those in power. I also openly put my name under each of my articles. In general, since the start of the big war, this is the third attempt to get back at me as a journalist in some way, which, considering the genre I deal in, gives grounds to talk about professional pressure. Twice they spread distorted information about my work and family on social media. Now they tried to access my correspondence on Telegram," Mudra wrote.

She noted that publicity and media traction is her only defense.

She also reported that the pre-trial investigation in the case opened in March, with suggested an offence under Part 2 of Art. 171 of the Criminal Code (Persecution of a journalist for the performance of professional duties and criticism), is still ongoing. According to Olena, she was interrogated once, right after the information on her application was entered into the URPTI.

In a comment to IMI, Olena Mudra specified that the hackers failed to access her Telegram profile.

"Fortunately, no one was able to breach it, because I have two-stage protection when logging in and I successfully followed the algorithm after I started receiving notifications about a suspicious log-in," said the journalist.

Olena Mudra said that a few hours before the hacking attempts on her Telegram profile she made a Facebook post about the changes in the leadership of the oblast council, which earned a lot of comments.

"The authorities of the oblast, the mandated officials are sensitive to constructive criticism and try to avoid uncomfortable questions, making different efforts to prevent people from thinking to ask such questions. I, however, report on public procurement, do investigations, for which I request various kinds of public information, which I often receive only through complaining to the Human Rights Commissioner at the Verkhovna Rada. I also openly report on crimes on my Facebook page and sometimes speak about the political situation in the oblast. Yesterday, a few hours before the suspicious attempts to access my Telegram profile, I made a post about the changes in the leadership of the oblast council, which was gained a lot of comments. Maybe it's a coincidence. However, this is not the first such coincidence, so for the sake of my safety, I decided to speak up about it," she said.

As IMI reported, in March 2023 Olena Mudra, investigator journalist from Zakarpattia, reported being doxxed and facing pressure due to her reporting. This happened following her article about staff changes at the State Environmental Inspection in Zakarpattia oblast, which was published by Zakarpattia Online.

The police opened a case under Part 2 of Art. 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Obstructing the legal professional work of journalists").

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