Anonymous Claims to Have Leaked Over 360,000 Files From Russian Federal Agency

Hacktivist group Anonymous has claimed it has breached the database of the Russian federal agency responsible for the supervision of communications, information technology and mass media, leaking over 360,000 files in the process.

The agency, Roskomnadzor, has been heavily involved in enforcing new Kremlin directions on restricting independent media reporting in Russia since the start of the conflict with Ukraine, which began on February 25. This includes blocking access to popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In addition, on March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a new law prohibiting the publication of “knowingly false information” about the Russian military and its operations, carrying a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. This has led to several high-profile media organizations, such as The New York Times, temporarily pausing operations in the country.

In a tweet posted on one of its accounts yesterday (March 10), the Anonymous collective stated: “JUST IN: #Anonymous has successfully breached and leaked the database of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring #Russian mass media, releasing to the public over 360K files. #OpRussia.”

It followed up this message with the apparent link to the leaked documents: “Roskomnadzor leak released. ddosecrets[.]com/wiki/Roskomnadzor.”

The international hacking collective is well-known for hacking governments and other organizations for actions and policies they disagree with, such as cracking down on protesters. On February 25, Anonymous declared a “cyber war” against Vladimir Putin’s government in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has since claimed to have taken down several Russian state websites, such as the State Duma, as well as the website of the Russian-state-controlled international television network RT.

Additionally, numerous individual hackers and groups have targeted Russian entities since the conflict began, and these efforts appear to be having some effect. This week, Jeremiah Fowler and a team at Website Planet found that over 90% of exposed Russian cloud databases have been compromised, enabling hackers to delete data, rename files and potentially exfiltrate information for future attacks.

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