In the last 48 hours, considerable international Anon resources have been deployed to show what Anonymous thinks of Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression. Hundreds of Russian government, bank, and state-owned enterprise websites have been attacked, some remain down. This is mainly due to very effective DDoS attacks.
Among others these websites have been attacked
- Public services
- Moscow State Services
- President of the Russian Federation – http://kremlin.ru/
- Government of the Russian Federation
- Ministry of Defense
but also media such as Russia Today (RT). We will not publish a complete list, the situation is very fluid.
But DDoS alone doesn’t bring down a regime. The attack against the Russian Ministry of Defense was more sustained, leaking a 1.3 GB dataset from the ministry’s database. There was a bit of confusion as there were temporarily two download links in circulation, one pointing to a file of only 20MB with outdated email password lists from very old leaks, version of the VLC media player and all sorts of information on ripping DVDs … trash. However, the other file is being evaluated.
Operations of Anonymous didn’t start in Germany, activists from very many countries are involved in close coordination with each other.
But to make it clear: This is not an operation against most of Russian people. Not even Russian soldiers are targets.
This Op is facing Putin’s war-crimes and the Putin-controlled state apparatus, against state-owned enterprises, the state-controlled media, and against individuals and private enterprises that have profited from Putin’s autocratic system for decades. But it’s also directed against groups and media outlets that cover up Putin’s Propaganda. Putin, who is using hacks and trolls against all Western democracies, is getting sips of his own bitter medicine.
Citizens of the Russian Federation have been deliberately misled over years and decades. Putin’s statement that Ukraine is a Nazi regime and the government is a gang of drug addicts, his historical revisionism is believed in Russia because there is little access to most of any for way too much of the population. But Putin isn’t just a liar. He is a well-known dictator who suppresses all opposition and has long used his apparatus against Western democracies and against the Western way of life.
That is why, in addition to disrupting Russia’s infrastructure and providing technical support to Ukraine, another priority is to inform the Russian population. That is why broadcasts in Russian are infiltrated into state television, messages are spread via radio. In addition, Anonymous activists do a lot to ensure that citizens of Ukraine can continue to stay online despite massive disruptions to the Internet in Ukraine. This includes the provision of VPN services as well as guidance on how to bypass Tor network blocks through the use of bridges.
Of course, there are legitimate concerns about the operation. How far should one go in provoking a dictator with nuclear weapons? Isn’t there the risk of NATO becoming directly involved? Putin has already threatened Finland and Sweden, wouldn’t it be more important to focus on defending your own infrastructure? Is being a hacker in such an op combatant in a war?
The answer is: we share the concerns. Much of the war rhetoric is overblown. Anonymous can use strong words, but they are always aware of the fact that this is a dangerous situation. The activists know that attacking really critical infrastructures such as nuclear power plants or traffic control systems is a NoGo for us. Securing our own and Ukraine’s infrastructure against Russian cyber attacks is the priority. Nevertheless, it is important to keep the Russian IT apparatus busy and to provide Putin’s hacker forces, for example the ransomware extortionists Conti and CoomingProject, who side with Putin, with defensive work in such a way that they cannot do any harm in Ukraine or the West. Information gathering is also an important point, and much of what activists are currently doing is just not seen.
But it’s also a fact that there are currently hackers on the move who don’t feel bound by the values of Anonymous; Ukraine itself has called on the hacker underground for help. We have no influence on these people. Our commitment, however, refers to making noise and disrupting without smashing and destroying.
Not every piece of information going through the Anonymous channels these days is genuine and verified, something we always put a lot of emphasis on. But Anonymous is a large collective, internationally several thousand Anons are currently active, coordinating themselves through various channels. Because of the size of Op, the flow of information is therefore more than chaotic, even for us.
In this context, once again the note:
Anyone can call themselves Anonymous, but not everywhere is Anonymous in it. With such large ops, it is always the case that Anonymous channels appear on every corner and end, collecting followers, asking for donations, calling themselves “official”.
So let’s be clear about this:
The German-speaking collective uses Twitter, Mastodon, Facebook and this blog as channels. Which accounts these are, is written below in the footer or on the contact page here. Be careful who you follow, especially on Twitter. A brand new account that hasn’t been announced anywhere and just sends off a few tweets with general public information is not reputable.
For the international channels, please rely on @YourAnonNews on Twitter.
And even more bluntly, we’re not doing this for money or fame. That’s why Anonymous will NEVER work with affiliate programs in links or ask for donations. We handle everything internally. We have always done it that way, it will stay that way.
And there is no such thing as an official Anonymous account. Taking money and making something “official” is contradictory.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.