Anonymous, a global hacking group, has declared cyber war against the Russian government because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Through a Twitter post, Anonymous which has over seven million followers, called on hackers across the world to target Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
In the days that follow since February 24, the group has claimed responsibility for disabling portals belonging to Russian oil giant Gazprom, the state-controlled Russian state news agency RT, and the Kremlin’s official site, as well as a number of Russian and Belarusian government agencies. It also took credit for disrupting Russia’s internet service providers and leaking documents and emails from Belarusian weapons manufacturer Tetraedr.
A spokesperson for RT claimed the attacks came from the US after Anonymous tweeted its declaration of war. “After the statement by Anonymous, RT’s websites became the subject of massive DDoS attacks from some 100 million devices, mostly based in the United States.”
The global hacking group tweeted that Moscow may be using bombs to drop on innocent people by Anonymous uses lasers to kill Russian government websites. Moreover, it hacked the Ministry of Defence database and Russian state TV channels posting pro-Ukraine content including patriotic songs and images from the invasion.
Jamie Collier, a consultant at Mandiant, told The Guardian that it can be difficult to directly tie this activity to Anonymous, as targeted entities will likely be reluctant to publish related technical data. But the group has a track record of conducting this sort of activity and is very much in line with their capabilities. In the near past, its targets have included Islamic State and the Church of Scientology. Experts highlight that the hacking group’s presence and activity was revived after the murder of George Floyd – with the group’s motto being “anti-oppression”.
However, reports point out that the person or persons behind the Anonymous Twitter account denied that it is the group’s official account. “We are a decentralized resistance movement. There is no official #Anonymous account,” it said. Experts say it is one of many Twitter accounts that purport to act under the larger umbrella of Anonymous-affiliated social media accounts.
Meanwhile, Russia is engaged in its own-style of cyber warfare with Ukraine. Last week, Ukraine, as per various reports, was hit by an attempted wiper attack through a new strain of malware dubbed HermeticWiper. It prevented computers from rebooting. The scale of the attack only affected several hundreds of machines. The attack’s geographic reach has been limited to Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania.