KEY POINTS

  • Anonymous takes possession of the software of CBR
  • They also leak some files of the Central bank of Russian Federation
  • This is not the first time that Anonymous has hacked the CBR

The war between Ukraine and Russia continues to rage, causing loss of lives on both sides and inflicting immense structural damage. Anonymous, a decentralized international hacktivist and activist collective, launched a cyber war against the Kremlin following the invasion, and staying true to its promise that it will not stop its crusade until the war ends, launched another attack on Russia.

This time it has directed its fury at the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR). And in what is seen as a slap on Russia's supposed prowess in the cyber warfare space, the collective has managed to — yet again — intrude into the bank's cyber innards.

CBR, whose primary responsibility is to protect the stability of Russia's national currency, the ruble, has taken cyber damage courtesy of the hacktivist Rootkit_sec. Unlike previous attacks, the Anonymous operative's latest exploit allowed them to gain control of the "Russian software system" used in running the CBR.

In addition to taking control of the system, the hacktivist also leaked some data that belongs to the central bank. This is not the first time that Anonymous launched an attack against the CBR, but that previous experience has not helped the bank stop this latest incursion.

People walk past the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2019.
People walk past the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2019. Reuters / MAXIM SHEMETOV

That hack gave TheBlackRabbitWorld, a group of hackers operating under the Anonymous' banner and responsible for a previous attack on CBR on March 24, the chance to obtain confidential files including what they claimed to be "secret agreements." At the time the actors leaked 28 GB, or around 35,000 files, belonging to the bank.

Russia is known as one of the countries with an army of hackers but despite this, the hacktivist collective has launched countless attacks, including breaches and defacement of websites of supposedly highly secure government facilities and private institutions, among others.

Anonymous launched its #OPRussia initiative after Russia President Vladimir Putin declared war in Ukraine in the last part of February. Since then, the hacktivist collective has relentlessly attacked Russian websites and cyber assets.

So far, Anonymous' OPRussia initiative has leaked more than 12 million files and emails of government agencies, businesses and other websites in Russia. The movement continues to push ahead with its crusade and has assured Ukraine that it will only stop when the Kremlin ends its war against the country.

The Central Bank of Russia Federation did not confirm that it was hacked in March, and it is likely that it will confirm the latest intrusion.

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