Russian Government Website Taken Offline By Cyber-Attack

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While it was predicted well ahead of time that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would be fought, at least in part, through cyberwarfare, it came as a surprise on Sunday morning when the Kremlin’s official website suddenly went offline.

The hacking group, Anonymous, claims responsibility for the shutdown of the Kremlin website, as well as an interruption in Russian television channels. At this time, it is not clear how extensive the hacking was or what consequences it may have for Russia, Ukraine, or the people living in either country, but the Kremlin website remains offline at the time of this writing.

According to The Daily Beast:

‘The website, kremlin.ru, went down along with five other Russian government sites, according to the Ukrainian state telecommunications agency. The agency also claimed Russian TV channels were hacked to play Ukrainian music.’

Anonymous members say that they can keep the Kremlin’s website offline as a pressure campaign to end the government’s aggression in Ukraine. Further, they intend to combat some of the disinformation the Kremlin pushes on its people by transmitting more truthful stories, but they have not made it clear yet if those will be written journalistic pieces, videos from Ukraine where the Russian military is bombing and killing innocent civilians, or another kind of format.

The Irish Sun says that:

‘The organisation tweeted on Saturday: “Anonymous has ongoing operations to keep .ru government websites offline, and to push information to the Russian people so they can be free of Putin’s state censorship machine. “We also have ongoing operations to keep the Ukrainian people online as best we can.”‘

What is further unclear at this time is whether or not it is Anonymous who is truly responsible for the hacking. The Russian state media claims that their admission is false, but it’s never clear how truthful their reporting might be.

‘Russian state media has denied the outages are linked to Anonymous. The websites appear to have had interrupted connectivity since Russian [President Vladimir Putin] launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian TV channels have also been hacked to broadcast Ukrainian music, the Kyiv Independent reported on Saturday afternoon.’