The official website of the Kremlin, the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, kremlin.ru, was down on Saturday, following reports of denial of service (DDoS) attacks on various other Russian government and state media websites.
The outages came as Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister said it had launched an ‘IT army’ to combat Russia in cyberspace.
On Wednesday, a newly discovered piece of destructive software was found circulating in Ukraine, hitting hundreds of computers, according to researchers at the cybersecurity firm ESET.
Suspicion fell on Russia, which has repeatedly been accused of hacks against Ukraine and other countries. The victims included government agencies and a financial institution, Reuters previously reported.
Last week, Britain and the United States said Russian military hackers were behind a spate of DDoS attacks that briefly knocked Ukrainian banking and government websites offline before the Russian invasion.
Russia has denied the allegations.
Twitter accounts historically associated with Anonymous, the amorphous online activist community that first grabbed global attention about a decade ago, have also announced plans to take aim at Russia’s online presence.
Russia-themed leaks and hacks attributed to the group have begun to percolate across the Web — although as is often the case with Anonymous and with other hacker collectives the authenticity of the claims remain difficult to establish.
It is not unusual for freelance or ideologically motivated hackers to jump into global conflicts on one side or another; similar actions took place during the Arab Spring uprisings.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the Ukrainian government had put out a call to the hacker underground to help support its underdog effort to beat back the Russians.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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