Anonymous group has hacked the database of Roskomnadroz, a Russian federal executive agency responsible for censoring and monitoring media in the country.
The hacktivist group has released more than 360,000 files to the public reaching up to 820 GB of data that contains a lot of documents concerning Bashkortostan, one of the largest provinces in Russia.
JUST IN: #Anonymous has successfully breached and leaked the database of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring #Russian mass media, releasing to the public over 360K files. #OpRussia https://t.co/m5wvoDGNPh
— Anonymous TV 🇺🇦 (@YourAnonTV) March 10, 2022
The documents show how the Russian government is censoring and downplaying its role in the Ukraine war. Some of the documents released by Anonymous are dated as late as 5th March.
According to the hacktivist group, Roskomnadzor’s activities and actions are a matter of public interest both in Russia and all over the world.
“Roskomnadzor has given instructions about what can be said and ordered media outlets to delete stories that call Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an Invasion. In response to Facebook’s fact-checking Russia’s statements about the war, Roskomnadzor began restricting access to Facebook before later blocking it,” said the group.
Last month Roskomnadzor also warned media outlets to check their reports about the war in Ukraine. The media regulatory agency has also threatened to suspend access to Russian Wikipedia over articles about the “Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
This follows a similar pattern in the past. Due to new restrictions and censorship in the country Amazon, Discovery, and WarnerBros have also suspended operations in Russia. Netflix has also suspended its services in the country.
Tech companies have been blocking their products and services through the past week in Russia during the country's ongoing crisis with Ukraine. However, in a new update, Russia has now decided to reportedly block access to platforms like Twitter and Facebook in the country. pic.twitter.com/zgfSG90UT3
— Business Enquirer | BE Media (@busenqmedia) March 9, 2022
Anonymous said that they are offering these documents to the public so Russian people should have access to “true” information after being cut off from international media.
“We are publishing this release in anticipation of russia potentially being cut off from the global internet on March 11, and hope Russians will have time to download this data before then,” the group said in a statement issues on Distributed Email of Secrets.
Anonymous and other groups have criticized Russia demanding the government to provide transparency over what’s happening in Moscow and Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, hacktivists have been targeting Russian IT infrastructure. These attacks have been made on government sites, government-run TV channels like RT, and other online platforms.
#Anonymous seems to be really tearing Russia a new one in the effort to disrupt disinformation and censorship inside the country. I'm thinking that when all is said and done they will be shown to have moved that needle. https://t.co/zKMge3Z6MI
— MK Hamilton (@seattlemkh) March 10, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have noticed that hackers have launched large-scale attacks on Russian government sites and other local organizations, exposing data. According to Website Planet researchers, Anonymous and other hacking groups have attacked 90 percent of Russian cloud databases. The files have been replaced with messages like ‘Putin stop this war,’ or ‘HackedByUkraine.’
Over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, hacktivists choose sides in the war as they launch a cyber proxy war. Anonymous officially announced that they are against the Russian government. While another famous ransomware group Conti and ComingProject announced their support for the Russian government.
The announcements were made after Ukraine faced a massive DDoS attack on government sites. The threat of intense cyberwarfare looms as Russian invades Ukraine.