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Anonymous hackers infiltrating Putin’s online network with Kremlin website down
February 28, 2022
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Hackers are waging an online war of their own in cyber attacks against Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Since war broke out there has been a battle in cyber-space for the control of information, with unseen hackers lurking in their bedrooms quick to challenge Putin's Russia online, including the Anonymous activist groups.
Today it was reported by Reuters that the website of Russia's TASS news agency displayed an anti-war message against Putin.
It read: "We urge you to stop this madness, do not send your sons and husbands to certain death.
"Putin is forcing us to lie."
Russian media networks Kommersant, Izvestia, Fontaka and RBC have also been attacked by Anonymous, as have government sites for the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defence.
In attempting to gain support for his message, Putin is accused of engineering situations for his own benefit in order to justify his invasion. This includes the false claim that the invasion has occurred to try and remove a pro-Nazi government currently in charge of Ukraine.
So what is a cyber attack who are the people behind it?
What is a cyber attack?
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A cyber attack is an attempt to disable computers, shut down sites or steal data by online hackers.
Generally speaking, it is associated most commonly with illegal attempts to steal data in order to gain the financial information of a person online.
IBM explained that there are three different types of cyber attack:
Criminal – where data or finances are stolen or businesses are disrupted for the purposes of financial gain.
Personal – when annoyed hackers want to take revenge on someone, a group or a business.
Political – hackers seeking attention for their causes.
States are also known to use cyber attacks on news sites that speak out against them in order to shut down information.
Why did hackers attack Russian news sites?
Hackers attacked Russian news sites to try and report the 'truth' in the country.
Russia is not known for allowing free criticism of the current regime to go unpunished, and news is heavily controlled in its favour.
So news sites like TASS, Izvestia, Fontaka, RBC and Kommersant were all attacked in an attempt to reveal information of the war in Ukraine to Russian citizens.
It can be difficult for Russians to get truthful information on the war as it is often controlled, and news sites in the country can simply peddle the Kremlin's lies, such as Putin's claim that there is a Nazi government in control of Ukraine.
Who are anonymous?
Anonymous are a decentralised organisation group of online activists – or 'hacktivists'.
Since the war in Ukraine erupted after Putin's invasion, one Anonymous account said: "The Anonymous collective is officially in cyberwar against the Russian government."
Due to the nature of hacking, anyone of any age can take part as long as they have a WiFi connection and the ways and means of taking part.
Hackers may sometimes coordinate their efforts secretly with each other online.
Founder Aubrey Cottle revealed on Reddit that "Anonymous has all walks of life".
He said: "The most infamous is, obviously, the hacker type, but just as important are the ones that mobilise online and spread awareness, do research, and collaborate in that manner. If you have a voice, you can help Anonymous."
At the time of writing, the websites for the Kremlin and Russia's defence ministry remain out of use.