Russian threat actor unleashes disinformation emails on Ukrainians

Suspected Russian threat actor targeting disinformation campaign over email to demoralise Ukrainians

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Cybersecurity company ESET’s research revealed two disinformation campaigns initiated by an alleged Russian threat actor targeting Ukrainian citizens with email Psychological Operations (PSYOPs) with the objective of demoralising Ukrainians. The first campaign was in November 2023, and the second at the end of December.

The PSYOP campaign, which is also called Operation Texonto, comprises emails warnings of the impacts of the conflict, such as heating interruptions, medicine shortages and food shortages in the region are disseminated to create doubts in the minds of Ukrainians on the status of the conflict among Ukrainians.

ESET also pointed to a separate spearphishing campaign that was targeted at a Ukrainian defence company in October 2023 and an EU agency in November 2023. was designed to steal credentials for Microsoft Office 365 accounts, which the cybersecurity firms believe are linked to the PSYOPs emails.

ESET observed that the email server used by the threat actor to send the PSYOP emails was reused to send pharmacy spam messages two weeks later, which is allegedly a popular campaign within the Russian cybercrime community.