Russian hackers are monitoring CCTV cameras in Ukrainian cafes to gather information, a US intelligence official said on Tuesday.
Supported by the state, they are trying to find out information about passing aid convoys, according to National Security Agency (NSA) Cybersecurity Division Director Rob Joyce.
Speaking at the Center for International and Strategic Studies think tank in Washington, he said Russian hackers have attacked Ukrainian information systems since the start of their country’s broader offensive.
“Attacks are persistent on Ukrainian interests, whether financial, state, individual [or] business,” said Joyce, pointing out they were often “just to disrupt” operations.
The NSA official called some Russian hackers “creative”.
“We are watching Russian hackers connect to web cameras to observe convoys and trains delivering aid,” he said.
“Instead of using [cameras] from a public place that are available on the internet, they’re looking at the coffee shop security camera and seeing the road they need to see.”
Russian hackers are also focusing their operations on US defence industries and logistics companies to learn more about arms shipments to Ukraine, Joyce continued.
“They are under daily pressure from the Russians,” he said.
In March, the US news outlet CCN obtained a report that claimed European military, energy and transportation organisations were targetted by Russian hackers in an apparent spying campaign.
It went undetected for months as the war in Ukraine raged, despite the heightened defensive posture of Western governments.