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Someone tried to access the Telegram account of a "Skhemy" journalist

19.02.2024, 17:07

Heorhiy Shabayev, a journalist of Radio Liberty's "Skhemy" project, reports that someone tried to access his Telegram account on February 18. He believes this has to do with his reporting, the journalist wrote on Facebook.

According to him, unknown persons managed to intercept the text message sent to his phone number. They entered the number correctly and almost accessed the chats, but the two-factor authentication installed by the journalist prevented it.

"Since it was a targeted attack through a successful SMS interception, I believe it is directly related to my reporting. Aside from the operator, only the special services have official access to Ukraine's mobile communication infrastructure," said Heorhiy Shabayev.

According to him, someone wanted to access his Telegram account to learn about upcoming investigations by "Skhemy", to get information on the media outlet's sources, or both.

"In any case, this time the hackers failed," Shabayev wrote.

Скрін про спробу зламу Телеграм-акаунта журналаста

Photo by Heorhiy Shabayev on Facebook

Скрін про спробу зламу Телеграм-акаунта журналаста

Photo by Heorhiy Shabayev on Facebook

In his comment to the IMI, Heorhiy Shabayev noted that his team has not contacted the police at the moment, because, in the end, there was no breach – the two-factor authentication worked.

"But the fact that the hackers were able to intercept the text message is, of course, alarming. In addition to the operator, Ukraine's mobile communication infrastructure may also be accessed by the special services. Currently, the security departments of our company are looking into the incident," the journalist said.

According to him, his team has faced similar situations in 2018. Back then, someone tried to access the Telegram accounts of his two colleagues, Valeria Yehoshyna and Maksym Savchuk, simultaneously at night.

"As for the large-scale attack (on, "Apostrophe", "Telegraph" on February 18. – Ed.), I'm not sure there is any relation. There is a coincidence in timing: it happened on the same day, February 18. But we have seen that in the case of the media outlets, the hackers' goal was to spread anti-Ukraine messages in news feeds. That is, I think that the goals could have been different in my case. Maybe to get information about what materials I work on and what sources I talk to," added Shabayev.

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