Colonel Ivan Pavlenko, head of the Main Directorate of Electronic Warfare and Cybersecurity of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, advises Ukrainians not to use the Telegram application.
The head of the electronic communications department also talked about phone hacking rates and threats related to social networks.
Ivan Pavlenko, head of the Main Directorate of Electronic Warfare and Cybersecurity of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, advises Ukrainians against using Telegram on smartphones and emphasizes the importance of turning off the phone during a combat zone.
“Let me be honest: there shouldn't be anything in your phone except the phone book. Telegram does not physically exist on my phone. If we communicate, we use Signal, maybe WhatsApp. Well, in any case, the information that is conveyed there should be sudden, if you don't know the essence of the matter, you can't put it together," he said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda.
According to Pavlenka, since 2014, Russians have tried to gain remote access to his smartphone at least twice.
Once it happened in the Avdiivka area, another time in Krasnohorivka.
"This is what it looked like. My phone was working, then suddenly the battery dropped to zero, I charge it, but it shows 0% battery again. I turn it off completely for a while, turn it on and it tells me it's 100%. I won't reveal the details, but a sharp drop in charge is a sign that something is wrong with the phone. This forces the phone to restart. After reloading, a tab appears on the phone allowing access to all files," Pavlenko emphasized.
Pavlenko noted that conversations on serious official matters are simply not conducted over the phone.
"Go to the store, or it's better to send someone close to you to buy the first, better one that wasn't intended for you," advises the soldier.
In his opinion, one should not use social networking sites on a smartphone and should not provide them with important information or discuss it over the phone.
Pavlenko emphasized that it is important for military personnel and journalists working in the combat zone close to ground zero to turn on the "aviation" mode on their phones.
“For example, the Russians have a Layer 3 system that creates a deceptive base station that can detect phones and send messages in a certain area. It can't listen in on your conversation, but it can locate your phone. Phone crowding is a big threat. We understand that there are no gatherings of people other than military personnel in war zones. This means that it is definitely military. So of course you have to turn off your phones so you can't be tracked.
By the way, in 2014 we had many casualties precisely because of the use of mobile phones in a war zone. This is a serious threat.”