The hacker collective known as the Anonymous group announced its support to Ukraine.
It defied Vladimir Putin by taking down the Government’s official website, playing Ukraine’s national anthem on Russian media channels, and hacking critical Kremlin databases.
The Anonymous Group Is Officially In Cyberwar Against The Russian Government
Soon after Putin unleashed chaos over Ukraine, an international hacker group going by the name ‘Anonymous’ pledged its support to the blue and yellow flag via a tweet both calling out and threatening the Russian president.
On Feb. 24, the Russian forces brutally invaded the Ukrainian land. The following events gained Ukraine a lot of supporters, including the Anonymous gang. On Thursday, the group took it to Twitter to announce it was going for Putin’s regime.
Targeting Govt Websites, News Channels, and The Russian Ministry of Defence
Since its war declaration, the hacker group took the credit for several attacks, such as DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial-of-Service) that compromised official government websites and the state-backed Russia Today.
Anonymous also hacked the Ministry of Defence database and compromised Russian TV channels to broadcast Ukrainian patriotic songs and footage from the ongoing invasion.
This time, we’ll have to side with the hackers.
However, there’s no way of knowing for sure who was behind the cyberattacks.
“It can be difficult to directly tie this activity to Anonymous, as targeted entities will likely be reluctant to publish related technical data. However, the Anonymous collective has a track record of conducting this sort of activity and it is very much in line with their capabilities.”Jamie Collier, consultant at cybersecurity firm Mandiant
Russia Today blamed the group for the attacks, claiming they had originated from somewhere in the US, soon after the 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 US,” a spokesperson for the news channel said.
Russia Attacking Ukraine On All Fronts
The modern warzone includes cyberspace as well. Russia has constantly been attacking Ukraine on the digital front long before and during the war.
“By contrast, cyber activity against Ukraine has been muted so far, despite widespread predictions that a Russian military assault on the country would be combined with digital shock and awe. Ukrainian websites were hit with DDoS attacks ahead of the offensive, including the Ukrainian defense ministry and PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest commercial bank,” The Guardian wrote.
Other attacks against Ukraine have been discovered and linked to Russian hackers, possibly state-backed groups: “The UK and US governments have already blamed an earlier set of DDoS attacks against Ukrainian websites, on 15 and 16 February, on Moscow.”
“Last week Ukraine was hit by an attempted wiper attack, via a new strain of malware dubbed HermeticWiper that prevented computers from rebooting.”
Ukraine Gaining Massive Support Worldwide
Many countries showed their support to Ukraine through donations, military arsenal, humanitarian aid for refugees. Facebook joined in and censored state-backed media to stop the spreading of propaganda. YouTube also banned Russian state-backed ads. Elon Musk provided Ukraine with satellite internet access via his Starlink satellites.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government is soliciting international support and receiving millions of dollars in response.
Despite the Anonymous’ threat claiming Putin will “face the full wrath of the hackers”, the cyberwar has yet to extend to a more significant dimension.
“The cyber activity from Russia against Ukraine has been there, but is consistent with Russia’s cyber harassment of the country going back years. Similarly, from what we can see, the response against Russia from the west has not had a strong cyber component so far – it has been about stringent sanctions. All of this might change, and the west is right to remain on high alert for increased cyber activity,” Ciaran Martin, professor of practice at the Blavatnik school of government at Oxford University and former head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre explained.
- The Guardian Anonymous: the hacker collective that has declared cyberwar on Russia
- Heimdal Security Anonymous Declares ‘Cyberwar’ on Russia and Pledges Support for Ukraine