Anonymous has hacked into Russia’s media censorship agency and released 340,000 files in the latest attack to undermine Vladimir Putin President Putin’s war propaganda campaign.
According to Mail Online, the hacktivists broke into the Roskomnadzor federal agency to steal the classified documents which they then passed on to transparency organisation Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), who published them online.
The trove of 820 gigabytes of emails and attachments, some of which are dated as late as March 5, show how the Kremlin is censoring anything referring to their brutal invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow is instead calling a ‘special military operation’.
The Anonymous hacker said they ‘urgently felt the Russian people should have access to information about their government’, DDoSecrets said.
The files relate to the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, one of the largest in the federation with a population of four million.
Roskomnadzor, which oversees mass media in Russia, restricted access to Facebook and Twitter before blocking them and also threatened to cut off access to Wikipedia, due to its article on the invasion.
On February 24, the agency ordered all media outlets to only use official, state-sanctioned information sources or face severe punishment for spreading ‘fake news’.
The words ‘war, ‘invasion’ and ‘attack’ were all banned from use when describing Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Anonymous claimed to have hacked into Russian state TV to air footage of the war in Ukraine.
The hacking collective said it targeted Russia 24, Channel One, and Moscow 24 to show the realities of the savage invasion.
The hackers said they are taking part in the ‘biggest Anonymous op ever seen’ in their take-down of Russia.
Part of the footage aired on Russian TV included the message: ‘ordinary Russians are against the war’ and urged them to oppose the invasion.
And last week, the hackers claimed to have shut down Russia’s space agency so Putin ‘no longer has control over spy satellites’.
It comes after reports that Chinese telecoms giant Huawei ‘rushed to Russia’s aid’ to fend off Western cyberattacks.
Reports in China say the tech giant, which has several offices in the UK, has been helping Putin’s efforts to stabilise Russia’s internet network.