Anonymous claims to have in its possession 820 GB of data from the Russian federal agency responsible for supervising communications

The hacktivist group Anonymous recently released the news that has emptied a database of almost 820 GB belonging to Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal service for the supervision of communications, information technologies and the media.

the group now has published 364.000 files, with a total of 527 GB and almost 290,6 GB of raw data. These would be in proprietary formats and the collective said it has not yet found a way to extract them.

People who identified themselves as belonging to the Anonymous hacktivist collective said, ran for a "cyber war" against Russia the day after his invasion of the Ukraine. Since then, entities using the collective's name and iconography have claimed responsibility for a series of incidents in Russian cyberspace, as well as the hacking of numerous Kremlin-backed state websites and media outlets.

This week, these entities believe they hacked into Russia's telecommunications and media regulatory authority, better known as Roskomnadzor, and recovered 817,5 GB of data from one of its state offices.

In a description of the data, the collective claims that more than 360.000 files come from the Roskomnadzor network, totaling 526,9 GB. These files appear to be mostly emails.

According to timestamps, some of the files are believed to be as recent as March 5, 2022. Additionally, the group says there are two directories it has identified that contain the raw data files in proprietary formats for a couple of databases. Together they add up to 290,6 GB.

“We are releasing the raw data as we look for solutions to extract the data,” they wrote. 

One appears to be a legal research database which, based on the file's timestamp, was last modified in 2020. The other appears to be a database for HR procedures.

However, the group warns that this dataset was released during preparation, in the midst of or after a cyber or hybrid war. Therefore, there is an increased risk of malware, ulterior motives, modified or implanted data, or bogus flags/characters. Therefore, encourages readers, researchers and journalists to be very careful with the data.

In a series of tweets and posts on various sites, the hackers justify their actions against Russia. They see the Roskomnadzor service as the Russian apparatus for censoring local and international media.

They describe him as "a danger to freedom of expression who, through his actions, leaves millions of Russians in complete ignorance of the abuses of the Russian state." Therefore, they want to weaken the agency to allow the Russians to inform themselves. “The activities of Roskomnadzor are always a matter of public interest for the Russian people and for the whole world. His recent actions have only underscored that,” they wrote.

They add:

“Roskomnadzor has issued instructions on what can be said and ordered the media to remove articles calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine an invasion. In response to Facebook's fact-checking of Russia's statements about the war, Roskomnadzor began restricting access to Facebook before later blocking it. Roskomnadzor also threatened to block access to the Russian Wikipedia site because of its article on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These measures follow similar actions carried out in the past…

The source, affiliated with Anonymous, said the Russian people should have access to information about their government. He also expressed his opposition to the Russian people being isolated from the independent media and the outside world.

Russia has come under fire from Anonymous and other hackers since the Ukraine invasion, and these groups are demanding more transparency about what is happening in Moscow and on the front lines. Since the beginning of the invasion, the Russian IT infrastructure has been a frequent target.

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