Anonymous hacktivists break into Russian databases and lose “massive” amounts of data

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“The Anonymous declaration of cyberwar was breaking news despite the lack of evidence,” writes Cybersecurity specialist Jeremiah Fowler (an American who has worked in Kyiv for the last 10 years – until he fled to Poland in February). To investigate this, Fowler ran a random sample of 100 exposed Russian databases — and discovered that 92 of them had actually been compromised. “Anti-Russian hackers used a script similar to the notorious ‘MeowBot’, which renamed folders and deleted the contents of the files.” (For example renaming the folders to “putin_stop_this_war”.)

and That was just the beginning, reports CNBC:

Anonymous claimed to have hacked over 2,500 Russian and Belarusian websites, Fowler said. In some cases, stolen data has been leaked on-line, he said, in amounts so large it will take years to verify. “The biggest development would be the overall massive number of datasets being ingested, encrypted or placed online,” Fowler said. Shmuel Gihon, a security researcher at threat intelligence firm Cyberint, agreed that the amount of leaked data was “massive.”

“We don’t even know what to do with all of this information right now because we didn’t expect to have it in such a short amount of time,” he said…

The more immediate result of the hacks, Fowler and Gihon agreed, is that Russia’s cybersecurity defenses have proven far weaker than previously thought.
Fowler’s report argues that Anonymous “has rewritten the rules of how to wage a crowdsourced cyber war‘ — with the group also offering penetration tests for Ukraine, ‘to find vulnerabilities before Russia could exploit them.’ Going beyond government, business or other organizations and included an information campaign for Russian citizens.”

Some examples:
hack printer – Russian censorship has prevented many in the country from knowing the true extent of the war and Russian casualties. Anonymous hacked printers across Russia and printed uncensored facts or anti-propaganda and pro-Ukrainian messages. The group claims to have printed over 100,000 documents. This includes barcode printers in grocery stores, where prices have been changed and product names changed to anti-war or pro-Ukrainian slogans….

RoboDial, SMS and email spam — Almost everyone in the world has received spam in the form of a phone call, text or email message. These are usually trying to sell a service or make sacrifices for money. Now the same technology has been used to bypass Russian censorship and update citizens on news and news that they are not allowed to hear from state-sponsored propaganda channels. Anonymous affiliate Squad303 claimed to have sent over 100 million messages to Russian devices.

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