Putin humiliated as hacking group infiltrates Russian state TV with Ukraine military video

Russia: Anonymous declare cyber-war on Putin amid invasion

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On day 12 of Moscow’s war against Kyiv, hacking collective Anonymous claimed it is working on its “biggest op ever seen” as it hacked news stations Russia 24, Channel One and Moscow 24 as well as streaming services Wink and Ivi to show footage of the ongoing military operations being launched by Putin in Ukraine.

The collective’s goal is to fight against the Kremlin’s attempt to isolate the country’s people from the reality of its attacks.

An account linked to Anonymous, @YourAnonOne, tweeted on Monday: “The hacking collective #Anonymous hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi (like Netflix) and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One, Moscow 24 to broadcast war footage from Ukraine [today].”

Video footage attached to the tweet showed a message stating that “ordinary Russians are against the war” and called for Russians to oppose the war.

Ukrainian news organisation Kyiv Independent confirmed the hacking.

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The group’s targets in the past have included the CIA, the Church of Scientology and Islamic State.

Its current activity comes amid efforts by Putin’s government to clamp down on people’s access to information.

Last week, Russia blocked Facebook and Twitter.

Roskomnadzor, the country’s media regulator, said its decision over Facebook was in response to what it claimed was restricted access to Russian media on the social media platform.

According to the watchdog, there have been 26 cases of “discrimination” against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020, with access restricted to state-backed news outlets including RT, Sputnik, RIA, the defence ministry’s Zvezda TV, and websites gazeta.ru and lenta.ru.

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Meta, the company behind Facebook, said last week it had restricted Russian-backed outlets across the EU — and later, across the UK — and was globally downgrading content from state-affiliated media on both Facebook and sister platform Instagram.

Roskomnadzor said in a statement the block on Facebook platforms was introduced “to prevent violations of the key principles of the free flow of information”.

In response, Meta said: “We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.”

The decision on Twitter, the regulator claimed, was in line with orders from the Russian prosecutor general’s office.

The watchdog has previously accused the platform of failing to delete content prohibited by Russian authorities.

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The ban on the two social media giants followed the passing of a new law in Russia’s Parliament that criminalises spreading information that goes against the Kremlin’s position on the war in Ukraine.

Sharing what the Russian government deems “fake” news could result in a jail term of up to 15 years or a fine of up to 1.5m rubles (£10,700) for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the military.

According to the speaker of the lower house, Vyacheslav Volodin, this is to “protect our soldiers and officers, and to protect the truth”.

After the bill was passed, several international news organisations temporarily suspended news operations within the country in order to protect their journalists from the potential implications of the new legislation.

Anonymous’s work against Russia’s widening efforts to control the spread of information on the war in Ukraine and to restrict independent news sources started soon after Moscow’s assault began.

On February 24, they tweeted: “The Anonymous collective is officially in cyberwar against the Russian government.”

The group, whose work gained strength after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, has since the start of the war claimed credit for several cyber incidents, including the Russian Ministry of Defence database, various government websites and that of Russia Today.

Anonymous said on Sunday night: “We need to keep the Russian people connected to the global community.”

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