Twitter accounts using the collective identity Anonymous have declared “cyber war” against Russia and claimed responsibility for several computer attacks against public institutions in the country and media financed by Moscow. One of the profiles announced late on Wednesday the fall of the “propaganda channel” RT (Russia Today), which this morning confirmed that it had received a cyberattack in its English and Russian versions. The offensive has paralyzed its activity for a few hours, which it has been able to resume later.
Another of the accounts using this hacktivist identity has announced that “Anonymous is currently involved in operations against the Russian Federation. Our operations target the Russian government. It is inevitable that the private sector will also be affected.” Other profiles have claimed that their attacks have brought down the official website of the Kremlin and that of institutions such as the Antimonopoly Commission, although both are accessible at this time.
The Russian National Computer Incident Coordination Center, under the Federal Security Service (FSB), declared the threat level of cyberattacks as “critical”. The agency warns that there is a “threat of an increase in the intensity of computer attacks on Russian information resources, including critical information infrastructure facilities in the context of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine,” the independent agency collects. Russian Interfax.
This Thursday, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry raised a request for help to the country’s cybersecurity experts to enlist as volunteers to defend the country’s networks from Russian attacks. “Ukrainian cyber community! It’s time to engage in cyber defense of our country,” read a request shared via Google docs. to which the Reuters agency had exclusive access. This listed a number of skills of particular interest to Kiev, such as malware development.
The attack perpetrated against RT has been a denial of service (DDoS), one of the easiest to launch but also to defend. It is the same type of digital offensive that individuals and hacktivist groups under the pseudonym Anonymous have used since 2008 to bring down the websites of public institutions and multinationals around the world. One of the most famous cyberattack campaigns carried out under this collective identity was the one aimed at the US government and multinationals such as Amazon or Paypal, in protest at the persecution and expulsion of Wikileaks from their servers.
However, although until 2015 his actions had progressive objectives, later that line was blurred. Cyber intelligence sources have explained to this medium on several occasions that since then, Anonymous accounts have been used to claim cyber attacks that have actually been perpetrated by states or companies that have used the pseudonym to avoid being discovered.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has led to the revival of hacktivist-style actions under this pseudonym. The main expert in this movement, Gabriella Coleman, did not rule out in an interview with elDiario.es that it could “resurface at any time and become highly visible. There is nothing to prevent people with special technical knowledge from meeting at certain meeting points of the Internet, use this type of tools like Anonymous and start hacking again from a progressive logic”.
“Although this account cannot claim to speak on behalf of the entire Anonymous collective, we can report the truths of Anonymous’ collective actions against the Russian Federation. We want the Russian people to understand that we know it is difficult for them to speak out against their dictator for fear of reprisals”, has published one of the accounts that have reactivated the activity of the pseudonym.
The same profile has also left a notice for those who are thinking of joining this movement. “Warning: We all know how the criminal justice system works in the United States. So, if you’re new around here and thinking of engaging in online adventures against Russia but don’t know anything about maintaining your own privacy online: Don’t do it.” “.