A group of Ukrainian nationalist hackers called Myrotvorets, leaked the personal details of many local journalists whom they consider are pro-Russian. This is second time they did something like this in the past four months.
The last incident happened in August and it targeted journalists who managed to acquire press accreditation for Russian-held sections of the eastern Ukraine.
That data dump included the information on Ukrainian and other foreign journalists working for over 30 international media outlets like Al Jazeera, CNN, The Daily Beast, Radio Free Europe, BBC, and the Associated Press.
The last leak took place in the mid-May 2016 and it includes even a larger list of reporters, from agencies like Associated Press, AFP, CNN, CCTV, Reuters, BBC, Welle, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Gazeta Wyborcza, Kyiv Post, the New York Times, Vice News, Russia Today, and Daily Beast, and many others.
The kindergarten-level thinking that goes behind this leak is that any journalist who gets an accreditation in the pro-Russian regions must themselves be a pro-Russian man.
This definitely may not be the case, as journalists always have ventured into war zones in order to provide fair and accurate reporting, thus they are not necessarily believing or being a supporter of the people they interview.
T TEcd Free Speech Radio News reports that Ukrainian authorities have reacted to the data leak with silence and celebration. It is believed that the government is not taking actions against the hackers because they would like to deter journalists from reporting from Ukraine and the frontline regions.
Any leak of PPI (Personally Identifiable Information) poses a danger to the people involved, but this is usually of a financial nature. In a country torn by war and heightened nationalist demagoguery, journalists exposed in the leak are now in physical danger.
After both leaks, journalists have reported about receiving death threats via phone calls and on social media.