Members of the hacking group Anonymous are planning a number of new attacks including breaching and leaking databases, defacing websites, and ordering pizzas.
Representatives for the hacking collective told The Independent that these tactics – alongside trolling, enlisting targets’ phone numbers to escort sites, and taking over data centres – are common tactics, but that “your guess is as good as ours” for what might happen next.
This is because Anonymous infamously does not have a leadership or organisational structure, with the group saying that they do not “gather on schedule, to discuss and vote” but rather “someone brings up an idea or a done hack or anything and if other Anons like it, they join a group around this. Or don’t.”
The world has already seen the results of these hacks: electric vehicle charging stations that now read “Glory to Ukraine”, Russian media sites vandalised with memorials for the war dead, and Belarusian rail networks hacked to disrupt to stop troops moving from Russia.
This specific group, an association of “loosly [sic] interconnected” German speaking Anonymous members, communicate on a Matrix server reportedly containing several hundred active accounts.
Matrix is a decentralised conversation store rather than a platform in itself but supports other encrypted clients such as Element.
The group claimed to be responsible for hacks on other political groups in Europe. However, since anyone can claim to be a part of Anonymous, these claims are difficult to verify.
“Nothing [about these hacks are] similar in scope to a potential World War, but the players and tactics are very much the same”, the group told The Independent. “The very same people who spewed Covid misinformation moved seamlessly to support Putin now.”
They added: “This is an information war that Putin fought in the western world, now it is fought in Russia for its people.”
Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities – both with regards to cybersecurity and misinformation – are potent. Microsoft has claimed that the attacks they have recorded could raise “serious concerns under the Geneva Convention”.
Russia has apparently launched attacks on “the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations”.
President Putin is infamous for the development of the ‘Internet Research Agency’, a state-sponsored agency that conducts online influence operations including some targeted on the 2016 US Election.
However, the members of the German group are seemingly unfazed by their potency, saying: “if you have to pay your trolls, you are probably bad at your job”.
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