The VERGE: In Ukraine, Hacktivists Fight Back With Data Leaks

On February 26th, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov — who is also minister for digital transformation — announced the creation of a volunteer-led cyber army, enlisting the help of any and all skilled workers from the IT sphere to participate in a range of digital actions against Russia.

The cyber volunteers were already venturing into uncharted territory. Coordinated through a Telegram channel of, at present, more than 300,000 users, membership of the so-called “IT Army” was both globally distributed and centrally directed, plotting a new line between decentralized digital activism and state-sponsored hacking. But while the IT Army embarked on a new kind of cyberwarfare, Anonymous’s #OpRussia represented a different, altogether more chaotic tendency.

The IT Army has leaned heavily on DDoS attacks — carried out on targets like gas, oil and infrastructure companies, the Moscow Stock Exchange, and even the Kremlin website using an app called disBalancer — but the most impactful actions have come from stealing data and posting it to the public. In one case, groups operating under the names Anonymous Liberland and the Pwn-Bär Hack Team obtained over 200GB of emails from Belarusian defense weapons manufacturer Tetraedr, which have been made available through the leak website Distributed Denial of Secrets.

Read more via The VERGE



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