A group of anonymous hackers called Hacktivists has launched a cyber attack on Russia since declaring a “cyberwar” against President Vladimir Putin in retaliation for the attack on Ukraine.
Many people working under the banner of these hackers have spoken to the BBC about their goals, strategies, and plans.
Of all the cyberattacks carried out since the Ukraine conflict began, an anonymous hacker attack on Russian TV networks is the most notable.
The hack is preserved in a short video clip, which shows the disruption of normal TV broadcasts and the military’s response to the on-screen bombings in Ukraine, and the horrific devastation that followed. I seem to be talking.
The video began circulating on February 26 and was shared by millions of followers on anonymous social media accounts. One such post was written as follows:
Latest: “Russia’s state-run television channels have been hacked anonymously to broadcast the truth about what is happening in Ukraine.” The video has been viewed by millions.
A small group of hackers called ‘Anonymous’ claimed responsibility for disrupting the TV channel’s broadcasts, claiming that they had not only controlled the entire TV broadcast for 12 minutes. Had done
The first person to share this short video about the disruption was able to confirm that it was real. Eliza lives in the United States, but her father is Russian, and she called Eliza when her TV shows were interrupted.
“When that happened, my dad called me and said, ‘Oh my God, he’s telling the truth!’ So I recorded it and posted the clip online.”
He says a friend of his has seen it happen. Russia Telecom, a Russian company that provides anti-hacking services, did not comment on the situation when contacted.
The hackers justified their actions by saying that innocent Ukrainians were being massacred. “If nothing is done to restore peace in Ukraine, we will step up attacks on the Kremlin,” he said.
Anonymous says it has also hacked Russian websites and stolen data from them. But Lisa Fort, a partner at cybersecurity company Red Goat, says most of the attacks are still “very basic.”
He said hackers have been using mostly DDoS attacks, where a computer system starts receiving random requests. This is a relatively simple task that hackers can do and only temporarily take websites offline.
“But the TV hack is an incredibly creative work and I think it’s very difficult to break,” he said.
Anonymous hackers have also hit Russian websites hard. Lisa Fort says that gaining control of the website in order to change the content displayed in it is also part of the issues such as influencing the website.
The attacks so far have caused disruption and disgrace. However, cyber experts are surprised to see an increase in cyber attacks since Russia launched its war against Ukraine.
These experts fear that a hacker could accidentally attack the hospital’s computer network or disrupt vital communications.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Emily Taylor of the Cyber Policy Journal. Such hackers can cause major fights or accidentally cause serious damage to civilian life.
The Anonymous group has not been active for many years. Roman, who owns a Ukrainian technology company and heads a group of hackers called Stand for Ukraine, also had no ties to the organization until Russia invaded Ukraine.
Roman told me that when he and his team briefly hacked the website of the Russian state news agency, Toss, with an anti-Putin poster, it contained the “Anonymous” logo.
Roman works from his apartment in Cue and stays in touch with the team that created his website. The team building the websites builds Android apps and telegram bots to support Ukraine’s war effort, and to hack Russian targets.
“I am ready to go to Ukraine and carry a gun for national security,” he said. But at the moment my skills on the computer are being used properly. So I’m here in my house with two laptops and I’m doing my job on this front. ”
He claimed that his group kept the ticket service of a local Russian train offline for several hours. However, the BBC could not confirm this. “These things are illegal and wrong unless you or your relatives are in danger,” he said, defending his actions.
Another group that has merged with Anonymous is a Polish hacking team called Squad 303, named after a famous Polish fighter squadron in World War II.
A member of the group who uses the name John Zambach, a World War II pilot, as his nickname, said: “We work closely with Anonymous all the time and now I consider myself an anonymous activist. I understand the member.
He did not want to be photographed, but another Ukrainian member of his team sent a photo of himself in a helmet and mask. He described his situation as “hacking with barricades with rifles during the day and with squads, anonymous at night.”
Squad 303 has created a website that allows the public to send text messages to various Russian phone numbers without specification so that they can tell the Russian people the truth about the horrors of war.
They claim to have facilitated more than 20 million SMS and WhatsApp messages.
The two anonymous groups I spoke to referred to how they have worked together for the most effective work to date for Ukraine.
Asked how he justified the squad’s illegal activities, John Zumbach said he did not steal or share any private information and was only trying to talk to the Russians, which was intended. To win the information war. However, he also said that he is planning more effective hacking in the coming days.
There are also groups in Russia that are carrying out such cyber attacks on Ukraine but only on a small scale.
There have been three major coordinated DDoS attacks against Ukraine since January. In addition, there are three more serious Viper attacks that have destroyed data on a small number of computer systems in Ukraine.
On the website of Ukraine 24 TV channel, an edited video of President Vladimir Zelensky was aired on Wednesday, apparently due to a broadcast hack.
Longtime Anonymous group Anon2World says that in the current situation it is difficult to know who is behind such attacks. Now the problem with Anonymous is that anyone can use the name, including the state elements we are fighting against.
With our growing current popularity, it is also important that our activities be influenced by government agencies. As far as escalating chaos is concerned, we are accustomed to chaos, especially online.