The Interior Ministry of Ukraine will verify the findings the Schemes (Skhemy) journalist project's investigation into whether thousands of CCTV cameras across Ukraine could have been transmitting data to servers in Russia for years, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko has told the news telethon.
According to him, the issue of installing cameras should be addressed not only to the special services, but also to public utilities, as it concerns video surveillance on city streets, public and private facilities.
"Of course, this is unacceptable when any camera, even hypothetically, can be connected and transmit information, especially during the war, to any country," Klymenko said.
The minister announced a comprehensive inspection, which will involve, among others, representatives of military administrations (technical staff). Klymenko added that "in the near future we will give a joint response on further technical protection of information, including from video cameras" and assured that the road recording systems administered by his department do not have such vulnerabilities.
What preceded Klymenko's remarks:
- As part of the Schemes investigation, journalists and cybersecurity experts conducted an experiment. It showed that video from thousands of CCTV cameras installed across Ukraine, using Russian TRASSIR software, is sent to servers in Moscow owned by companies with ties to the FSB before reaching the consumer's phone or computer.
- The company in question is Digital Network. Its clients include Yandex and the federal channel Zvezda, as well as Vkontakte. Digital Network also officially provided Internet connection services from 2015 to 2017 to the FSB's Centre for Information Protection and Special Communications.
- Cameras with this Russian software have been massively purchased and installed by public and private enterprises in Ukraine over the past 20 years. Among them are the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the Sea Ports Authority, Nova Poshta, and Velyka Kyshenya. Ordinary Ukrainians also bought these cameras to install in their homes.
- Ukraine did not restrict the use of this Russian technology until 27 February 2022.