State news agency TASS was hacked on Monday, and it’s English version is unaccessible as of writing, Attempting to open TASS.com shows an error message, while reports from other social media users say the Russian language version shows an anti-war statement.
According to Reuters and social media pictures the regular site was replaced with an anti-war message and calls to stop President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
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 and is putting us in danger…
“It’s not our war, let’s stop him!”
Other Russian news media websites, including Kommersant and Izvestia, also read: “Putin makes us lie and puts us in danger.
“What is it for us? To put Putin in the textbooks? This is not our war, let’s stop it!”
A logo beneath the message indicates the hacking collective Anonymous are behind the cyber attack.
The group has recently claimed credit for several cyber incidents including distributed denial of service attacks, where a site is rendered unreachable by being bombarded with traffic, which brought down government websites and Russia Today, another state-backed news service.
The DDoS attacks still appeared to be working on Sunday afternoon, with the official sites for the Kremlin and Ministry of Defence still inaccessible.
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Anonymous also claimed it had hacked the Ministry of Defence database, and on Sunday allegedly hacked Russian state TV channels to display pro-Ukraine content including patriotic songs and images from the invasion.
Jamie Collier, a consultant at US cybersecurity firm Mandiant, told the Guardian: “It can be difficult to directly tie this activity to Anonymous, as targeted entities will likely be reluctant to publish related technical data.
“However, the Anonymous collective has a track record of conducting this sort of activity and it is very much in line with their capabilities.”
Russia Today openly attributed the problems with its website to Anonymous, and claimed the attacks came from the US after the group had published its “declaration of war”.
A spokesperson for the channel said: “After the statement by Anonymous, RT’s websites became the subject of massive DDoS attacks from some 100 million devices, mostly based in the US.”
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