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Anonymous news – live: Hacking attacks and cyber warfare could lead Russia to cut itself off from the internet

Vladimir Putin is getting ‘a sip of his own bitter medicine’, one German Anonymous group wrote

Adam Smith
Friday 11 March 2022 16:50 GMT
White House says Russian military intelligence behind cyber attacks on Ukraine

While Ukrainian forces fight against the Russian military's invasion, hackers from around the world caused disruption to Russia’s digital infrastructure.

Hacking groups such as Anonymous and the Cyber Partisans have claimed responsibility for cyberattacks on Russia’s banks, state broadcaster RT, and a Belarusian rail network reportedly used to move troops from Russia to Ukraine.

The “biggest Anonymous op ever seen” was claimed as Russian news channels like Russia 24, Channel One, and Moscow 24, including streaming sites, showed footage of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Peace talks between the two countries are ongoing between the two nations, but it remains unclear how long the bloodshed will last. Currently, these cyber groups have said that they stand with Ukraine against Russia’s powerful online forces - causing disruption to stop the country’s own attacks against Ukraine and the West.


Russian media sites hacked by Anonymous again

A message warning readers of “certain death” for troops in Ukraine was shared across their platforms.

The message on Fontaka read in full: “Dear citizens. We urge you to stop this madness, do not send your sons and husbands to certain death. Putin makes us lie and puts us in danger.

“We were isolated from the whole world, they stopped buying oil and gas. In a few years we will live like in North Korea. What is it for us?

“To put Putin in the textbooks? This is not our war, let’s stop it! This message will be deleted, and some of us will be fired or even jailed. But we can’t take it anymore.

“Indifferent journalists of Russia.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 09:12

Russian ransomware hackers have secret chats exposed by Ukrainian leaker

“If anybody will decide to organize a cyberattack or any war activities against Russia, we are going to use our all possible resources to strike back at the critical infrastructures of an enemy,” a blog post by the Conti hackers read.

Shortly after, a cache of chat logs belonging to the Conti ransomware gang leaked online by an insider who objected to their support of Vladimir Putin.

“Fuck the Russian government”, the leaker said in their message. “Glory to Ukraine!”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 11:17

What is inside the Conti leak?

Marcus Hutchins, the British computer expert who helped shut down NHS cyberattack in 2017, has offered some insight into the scale of the Conti leak.

“This is the kind of stuff that almost never gets seen by anyone outside cybersecurity or law enforcement”, he tweeted, highlighting the billions the gang had made and an “unnamed journalist [that] offered to help Conti extort companies ... in return for a 5% commission”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 11:22

A ‘cyber free-for-all’ from Russia could still be launched on Ukraine

So far, a massive attack on Ukraine’s digital infrastructure from Russia has not happened yet. Power plants and other critical infrastructure are still operational, despite Russia having a huge resource of hackers and online operatives such as the Internet Research Agency.

“It has not played as large a component as some people thought it might and it definitely has not been seen outside of Ukraine to the extent that people feared,” said Michael Daniel, a former White House cybersecurity coordinator. “Of course, that could still change.”

It is not clear why this has not happened; perhaps Russia believes that the impact is not serious enough, or that they could not do enough damage to Ukraine without collateral or knock-on effects for other nations.

Adam Smith1 March 2022 11:30

Anonymous posts new message to Vladimir Putin

A Twitter account representing the Anonymous hacking group has posted a new video directed at the Russian president.

“Mr Putin, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shown that your regime has no respect for human rights or the self determination of your neighbours”, it says.

“In the past several days a full scale invasion has commenced, civilian neighbourhoods have been bombed and innocent people have been killed. “Refugees are fleeing the violence and the population is being forced into conscription by Ukrainian officials.

“This is an ugly situation all around but you are the instigator.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 11:31

Secret misinformation campaign is trying to trick people into using less secure messaging apps, Signal says

In recent days there have been a run of rumours attempting to suggest that the app has been “hacked and compromised” and that its security has been weakened, Signal said. But those rumours appear to be part of a messaging campaign aimed at encouraging people to stop using signal and move to less secure platforms, it said.

“We’ve had an uptick in usage in Eastern Europe & rumors are circulating that Signal is hacked & compromised. This is false. Signal is not hacked. We believe these rumors are part of a coordinated misinformation campaign meant to encourage people to use less secure alternatives,” the company wrote in a set of tweets.

“We’re seeing these rumors appear in messages forwarded on several different apps. These rumors are often attributed to official government sources and read ‘attacks on Signal platform.’ This is false and Signal is not under attack.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 13:34

Russian hackers’ cyberattacks on Ukraine could breach Geneva Conventions, Microsoft chief warns

The attacks have been “precisely targeted”, with the company especially concerned about targets “including the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations”

The Ukrainian government has also been warned about cyber attacks that could steal health, insurance, and transportation data that could personally identify citizens, Mr Smith went on.

However, while Microsoft says that the cyber attacks have been “offensive and destructive”, other experts have claimed they are “haphazard”.

“A plausible scenario for more devastating cyber-attacks was that Russia had planned this invasion for a long time, and prepositioned implants across Ukraine’s critical infrastructure in order to cause mass disruptions coinciding with the military invasion”, Dr Maschmeyer told The Guardian.

Devastating cyberattacks have “not played as large a component as some people thought it might and it definitely has not been seen outside of Ukraine to the extent that people feared,” said Michael Daniel, a former White House cybersecurity coordinator, but that the situation could “still change.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 16:20

YouTube bans Russian media

As well as hackers, big tech companies have taken action against Russia.

“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately,” Google said in a tweet.

“It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.”

Visitors to the channel saw a message reading: “This channel is not available in your country.” Similar messages appeared in countries across Europe.

Adam Smith1 March 2022 18:00

TikTok takes action against Russia

TikTok has also sanctioned pages or content posted by RT and Sputnik - something that could severely interfere with Russian disinformation.

In 2014, Russia flooded the internet with fake accounts pushing disinformation about its takeover of Crimea. Now, trolls and bots stir up anti-Ukrainian sentiment and it is unclear how close they are to the government.

“It could just be a patriotic Russian fighting the good fight as they see it, or it could easily be something directly affiliated with the state,” said Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation researcher and expert on Eastern Europe at the Wilson Center in Washington.

“Russia has been perfecting these tactics.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 19:00

BItcoin overtakes the Russian Ruble

The cryptocurrency reached above $41,000 on Monday afternoon, according to CoinMarketCap’s price index, having traded below $35,000 as recently as Thursday.

The Ruble fell by around 25 per cent in that same time period, dropping below $0.01 on Monday to a new record low.

“In these uncertain times, we have seen an uptick in the utility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” Paolo Ardoino, CTO of the crypto exchange BitFinex, told The Independent.

“It goes without saying the defining characteristics of bitcoin allows it to act as a safe haven during turbulent times.”

Adam Smith1 March 2022 20:00

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