January 19, 2023

Mobilization Lists Aren't on Telegram


Mobilization Lists Aren't on Telegram
Telegram. The Russian Life files.

On January 13, Meduza reported that a massive phishing attack on Telegram targeted Russian users, with bogus links to check mobilization lists. According to the Telegram channel In2security, this scheme could be the largest in the platform's history.

In September 2022, the Russian government began a "partial military mobilization" and announced its completion in October. However, President Vladimir Putin has not signed any official decree to end the draft, meaning it could be resumed at any time. As such, many Russians are anxious to see if they could be sent to the frontline next.

Hackers obtained a mailing list and sent malicious messages to users offering to check whether they or their loved ones would be drafted. Users would be redirected to a website asking them to enter personal information, and scammers would then steal their data and accounts.

In one instance, a bot claimed to allow users to scan mobilization lists but collected personal information and forced them to subscribe to a channel instead. As part of this attack, a different malicious message circulated and baited victims with a chance to vote on children's drawings for a contest. 

In December, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valery Zaluzhny, stated that Russia would launch a new attack in early 2023 and draft an additional 500,000 people. The press secretary of the president of the Russian Federation, Dimitry Peskov, urged the population to ignore these claims, but anxiety remains.

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