Posted on February 25, 2022 at 5:59 PM
As the Russia-Ukraine war keeps getting more worldwide attention, the notorious Anonymous Hacking Group has weighed in on the crisis by launching cyberattacks on Russian government websites as a warning. A recent video allegedly posted by the Anonymous hackers threatened to “take hostage” industrial systems in the country if the crisis continues.
The response by the group is in solidarity with Ukraine. Several international organizations have backed Ukraine, telling Russia to stop its invasion of the country. Apart from Russia’s military invasion, it has also been accused of launching cyber attacks on Ukrainian banks and government websites.
Anonymous Says It Attacked Some Russian Websites
The Anonymous Group is famous for using cyberattacks to make political statements. In light of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the group is now using a cyber threat to demand a ceasefire. The hackers stated that they engineered cyber operations that took down some Russian government websites. They stated that the action is a warning to Russia and a reminder that they are willing to cause more cyber havoc if the war goes on.
In the statement, the group admitted that it briefly took down http://rt.com, the website of the Russian propaganda station RT. They also claimed to have briefly taken down the Russian internet service providers, Sovam Teleport, PTF-Teleport Moscow, Com2Com, and RELCOM. But the sites were back up within a short time.
“Anonymous is currently involved in operations against the Russian Federation,” the group stated in a Twitter post.
Anonymous Targets Both Government And Private Websites
The group added that although the campaign against Russia will be focused on government websites, the private sector in the country will also be affected.
The Anon account used for the tweet has four million followers. The group admitted that the account doesn’t claim to speak for the entire Anonymous group, the majority of its members are in
The message was also directed to the Russian people, especially those who are not in support of the war their country has declared on Ukraine. According to the message, the group noted that the actions of Anonymous are entirely directed at President Putin and the Russian government for their decision to invade Ukraine.
Another Anonymous account claimed that it took down the Federal Anonymous Service of Russian website, although for only a short time. And another anon account noted that it knocked offline the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian Government, and Kremlin websites
Shortly after the post, hackers started using the #OpKremlin or #OpRussia hashtags to publicize the actions taken against Russin websites. This is similar to the #OpKKK campaign that target white supremacists and the threat action against the #OpISIS campaign that targeted the terror group’s wave of online propaganda.
The U.S. Warns Against Cyber Attacks By Russia
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in an intelligence brief in January, warned stakeholders that Russia may consider a cyber attack on the United States if NATO or the U.S. responds to Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. The intelligence report noted that if the U.S. support of Ukraine is perceived by the Kremlin as a threat to Russian security, the government will have no other option than to launch a widespread cyber attack.
The memo also stated that the Threshold placed by Russia for launching a direct cyberattack against the U.S. remains very high, even as the war against Ukraine continues.
The threat by anonymous hackers is coming only a few days after Russia launched a DDoS attack in Ukraine. The attack targeted several Russian banks and government websites.
Some may see the DDoS attack by the Anonymous group on some Russian websites as retaliation on behalf of Ukraine, the hackers themselves pointed out that it was only a warning.
Internet security expert Robert Potter stated that the DDoS attack utilized multiple systems flooding targeted websites to prevent other traffic from getting through. “It’s like trying to run five people through a door at the same time,” he noted.
However, the attack didn’t last very long, as the RT.com handler probably switched off foreign traffic to curtail or stop the attack. Potter explained that it is probably the reason why it was easier to get through the RT.com website from inside Russia than from outside the country. As of the time of writing, the Russian government has not responded to the warning, and it’s not clear whether any response will be given.