Anonymous sends blunt message to Vladimir Putin over invasion of Ukraine
‘Hackers all around the world: Target Russia in the name of #anonymous let them know we do not forgive, we do not forget. Anonymous owns fascists, always.'
Anonymous has sent a stark message to Vladimir Putin as the invasion in Ukraine intensifies. In recent days the hacker collective has declared all out cyberwar against Russia and already claimed to have leaked a Russian MoD database.
Now the group has posted a video to Twitter addressing the Russian president directly.
A person clad in the usual Guy Fawkes mask, speaking in a voice disguised by computer manipulation, addresses the camera directly, telling Putin: ‘Your regime has no respect for human rights or the self determination of your neighbors.’
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The figure goes on to detail the horrific damage and displacement the invasion has created and the resulting refugee crisis for the people of Ukraine.
‘You are the instigator,’ the figure says, as footage of the invasion is played.
You have criticized the US military and NATO for their occupation and bombardment of the middle east, which is certainly a fair criticism.
‘But you have shown that you are no better than the imperialist governments that you criticize, and the whole world can see through your propaganda.’
Wrath of the hackers
Over the course of the 2 minute 20 second video, which has been viewed over 3.2 million times, the masked figure says that sanctions and other retailiations are in store for Putin’s ‘foolish actions’.
Mentioning the early attacks on Russian websites, Anonymous says it is ‘just the beginning’ and Putin will ‘feel the full wrath of the world’s hackers’.
‘Your secrets may no longer be safe, and there is a chance that key components of your governments infrastructure could be hijacked.’
On Saturday, Anonymous claimed it had breached a Russian military database and published the contents online.
Among the information are emails, passwords and telephone numbers.
The group tweeted:
‘Hackers all around the world: Target Russia in the name of #anonymous let them know we do not forgive, we do not forget. Anonymous owns fascists, always.’
Who are Anonymous?
As the name suggests, no one knows exactly who Anonymous are, as the identity of members is kept strictly confidential.
Anonymous is an international group of activist hackers (known as ‘hacktivists’) primarily known for its various cyberattacks against several governments, institutions, and big businesses.
Although the exact origin is unknown, it is believed to have started in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, with users of the site coming together after becoming increasingly disgruntled with modern politics.
In its early form, the concept of Anonymous was adopted by a decentralised online community aiming coordinated virtual attacks toward various loosely-agreed targets, primarily for the sake of entertainment.
The slowly group gained momentum, and in 2008, they launched a series of protests, pranks, and hacks targeting the Church of Scientology – known as Project Chanology.
Over time, Anonymous has grown, taking on larger targets such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Sony, as well as government agencies of the United States, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda – and now Russia.