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Russia-Ukraine War: Anonymous Hackers Declare War Against Putin And Russia In Cyber World



Russia-Ukraine War: Anonymous Hackers Declare War Against Putin And Russia In Cyber World

Cyber fights are typically conducted in the shadows, but in the case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Anonymous has issued the most public declaration of war. Late on Thursday, the hacker collective Anonymous tweeted from an account linked to it, @YourAnonOne, saying it was targeting Vladimir Putin’s administration.

In the days after, the organisation has claimed responsibility for a number of cyber disasters, including widespread denial of service attacks, which have left government websites and Russia Today, the state-backed news service, unavailable. The DDoS attacks looked to be ongoing on Sunday afternoon, with the Kremlin and Ministry of Defense official websites remaining offline.

Because Anonymous is an informal grouping, it is difficult to clearly trace these attacks to them. The Anonymous group has a previous record of carrying out this type of operation, and it is well within their capabilities. Its previous targets have included the CIA, the Church of Scientology, and the Islamic State, and while the collective was shaken by a slew of arrests in the United States in the early 2010s, it resurfaced after the death of George Floyd. One former Anonymous member described the organization’s underlying principle as “anti-oppression.”

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Russia Today explicitly blamed Anonymous for its website issues, claiming that the attacks came from the United States after the organisation issued its “declaration of war.”

In contrast, despite popular predictions that a Russian military assault on Ukraine would be accompanied by digital shock and awe, cyber activity against Ukraine has been restrained thus far. DDoS attacks were launched against Ukrainian websites ahead of the offensive, including the Ukrainian defence ministry and PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest commercial bank, but nothing on the scale of the NotPetya attack in 2017 – when a devastating malware attack blamed on Russia destroyed computers in Ukraine and around the world. Cloudflare, a US-based technology company that protects businesses from DDoS attacks, described the initial denial of service incursions last week as “very minor.” The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States have already blamed an earlier round of DDoS attacks on Ukrainian websites.

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DDoS salvos, like Anonymous’ attacks, are designed to generate confusion and harm morale, whereas malware can do real and irreversible damage. NotPetya, a so-called wiper virus that was injected into tax accounting software used by Ukrainian enterprises but spread to other nations, caused $10 billion (£7.5 billion) in global damage by permanently encrypting machines.

Last week, Ukraine was targeted by a wiper attack using a new strain of malware known as HermeticWiper, which blocked machines from rebooting. However, because to the attack’s magnitude, only a few hundred machines were compromised, and its geographic reach beyond Ukraine was limited to Latvia and Lithuania.

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