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Eurobites: Russia hacked into Kyivstar last May, says Ukraine's cybersecurity chief

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia reaches 5G patents agreement with Honor; Romanian government agrees to Orange fixed-mobile merger; Ericsson's Croatian unit lands public sector deals.

Paul Rainford

January 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Kyivstar storefront
(Source: Igor Golovnov/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • The systems of Ukrainian operator Kyivstar – subject to a massive cyberattack in December which wiped out its services for several days – had been infected by Russian hackers since at least May of last year, according to the head of Ukraine's cybersecurity agency. As Reuters reports, the attack crippled thousands of virtual servers and PCs, with Illia Vitiuk, head of the Security Service of Ukraine's (SBU) cybersecurity department, describing it as the first such attack that completely destroyed a telco's core systems. And in the course of their investigations, the SBU discovered that the hackers probably tried to get inside Kyivstar's systems even earlier – as far back as March. Vitiuk thought the attack was probably carried out by Sandworm, a Russian cyberwarfare unit that has previously been linked to nefarious operations in Ukraine and elsewhere. (See What's the Story? Kyivstar won't quit on connecting Ukraine.)

  • Nokia has signed a new patent license agreement with Chinese device maker Honor which covers, in the words of the press release, "both parties' fundamental inventions in 5G and other cellular technologies," though the details of the deal remain under wraps. The Finnish vendor says the deal is the fourth major litigation-free smartphone agreement that it has concluded over the past year. (See Nokia to appeal Chinese court's 'global' 5G ruling.)

  • Orange and the Romanian government have reached an agreement over the merging of the operators' fixed and mobile units, Orange Romania Communications (OROC) and Orange Romania (ORO) respectively. Under this agreement, Orange will hold 80% of the share capital and 80% of the voting rights in the merged entity, while the Romanian government will hold the remaining 20%. Orange acquired a 54% stake in OROC, formerly the state-owned Telekom Romania Communications, in September 2021.

  • Ericsson's Croatian subsidiary, Ericsson Nikola Tesla, says it has signed several "digital transformation" contracts, mostly related to Croatia's public sector. The contracts are worth almost €8 million (US$8.7 million) in total.

  • The Norwegian Parliament has approved Space Norway's acquisition of Telenor Satellite, bringing the satellite TV broadcast and VSAT data communications services company under state control.

  • Germany-based 3 Screen Solutions (3SS), which provides software for set-top boxes (STB), smart TVs, multiscreen and in-vehicle entertainment, is teaming up with Dolby Laboratories to bring Dolby's Atmos immersive sound technology to in-car video systems. Specifically, 3SS's 3Ready Automotive platform will offer integrated support of Dolby Atmos.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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