The hacktivist collective Anonymous continues its self-declared war against Russia, after it claimed to have breached a federal agency.

The compromised federal agency compromised is Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communication watchdog that is overseeing much of Moscow’s clampdown against foreign tech platforms and services, including the block on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It should be remembered that the country’s communications regulator (Roskomnadzor) was already blocking Facebook after the platform restricted access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik in the European Union.

Roskomnadzor hack

Last week Anonymous hacked Russian state TV channels to show war footage of the invasion of Ukraine to oblivious Russian citizens.

It said it had hacked live TV channels of Russia 24, Channel One and Moscow 24 to show the realities of Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.

The group also hacked into Russia streaming services Wink and Ivi.

Just days after that, Anonymous said it had “successfully breached and leaked the database of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring #Russian mass media.”

The group then posted a 800GB data dump on the DDOS (distributed denial of secrets) site, the Youtube cybersecurity channel Seytonic explained.

The leaked data even included photo’s from recent office parties at Roskomnadzor, on 23 February, the day before the invasion of Ukraine.

Seytonic revealed that one of the photos clearly shows the flag of Roskomnadzor in the background.

Some of the files are dated as recent as 5 March 2022.

It is clear why Roskomnadzor was hacked.

The agency introduced a number of censorship measures, including a bill that President Vladimir Putin signed into law last week, which prohibits the publication of “knowingly false information” about the Russian military and its operations.

That law made it impossible for news organisations to accurately report the news in or from Russia.

The Russian ‘fake news’ law forced the likes of  BBC and CNN to stop broadcasting from the country.

Sentences for offenders can include up to 15 years in prison.

Anonymous war

The Anonymous hacking collective declared a cyber war against Vladimir Putin’s government in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24 February.

Besides the television hack, the group has also said it has hacked several Russian state websites, such as the State Duma, as well as the website of the Russian-state-controlled international television network RT.

Anonymous has also claimed to have ‘shut down’ Russia’s space agency, so that Moscow lost control of its spy satellites.

However the Director General of Roscosmos, Dmitry Olegovich, denied the claim and called the hacker group ‘petty swindlers’.

More recently, Anonymous on Twitter has said it has taken down the following Russia sites:

  • Moscow
  • FSB
  • Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation
  • Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation
Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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