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Phishing scam invites Russian Telegram users to check ‘conscription lists’ to see if they’ll be drafted in February
Russian Telegram users were targeted by a mass mailing of malicious messages inviting them to view a list of people allegedly pre-registered for enlisting in the Russian army on February 1–3, 2023. This was reported by In2Security, a Russian Telegram channel covering information security.
The phishing message invited users to check whether they or their loved ones are on the list of people soon to be mobilized. Users then got redirected to sites already reported for hacking the visitor’s accounts, or to a bot collecting personal data, while also requiring a subscription to a particular channel.
According to In2Security, “this is probably the largest phishing scam on Russian Telegram in the messenger’s entire existence,” and the most technically complex to boot.
Sergey Golovanov, a top expert at Kaspersky Lab, confirmed this information to TASS. The scam, he says, has operated for the past few days.
Last December, Ukrainian Chief of Command Valeriy Zaluzhny said he expected Russia to launch a new offensive in early 2023. Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence also claimed that Russia intends to mobilize another 500,000 new conscripts in January 2023, in addition to the 300,000 already drafted last fall.
The Kremlin urged people to pay no attention to rumors about the upcoming second round of the draft. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested it’s best to be “guided by information that comes from the Defense Ministry and the president.”
Last October, the Russian authorities announced that mobilization, which started on September 21, had been completed. Despite numerous requests for an unambiguous decree to end mobilization officially, President Putin declined to sign a document that would make its completion clear. This gives the Defense Ministry license to resume the conscriptions if and when it decides to do so.
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