Anonymous hits Russia over Killnet's attacks on Lithuania and Norway

Cyber tit for tat resumes as Anonymous claims to penetrate the Russian Space Research Institute in response to pro-Kremlin hackers attacking NATO members.

Anonymous-affiliated hacker group Spid3r claims to have breached Russia's primary institution for space exploration, the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI RAN).

"Russian Space Research Institute hacked by YourAnonSpider in response to Killnet's attack on Norway and Lithuania, "hackers announced on Twitter.

While the attack is not confirmed, Spid3r hackers said the stolen data would be released soon. If confirmed, the attack would be only one among many aimed at Russia's space industry.

Hackers have targeted Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, since the early days of the war. Hackers claimed to have breached Russia's vehicle monitoring system. Hackers also leaked documents about ExoMars, a joint Mars exploration mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia.

Killnet, a pro-Russian hacker group, launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Lithuania and Norway last week. The attack caused Lithuania's State Tax Inspectorate (STI) to put internal IT systems on hold for 'security concerns.'

Similarly, in Norway, the group targeted large private and public institutions and a secure national data network, affecting a range of private and public institutions.

Last week Anonymous said that the group's affiliates breached 80 million Russian phone numbers and passwords. The announcement was followed with snarky comments directed at Killnet's modus operandi.

Hacker wars

The conflict between different hacker groups started after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Groups supporting Ukraine started targeting organizations in Russia to help the country defend against the invasion.

Kyiv succeeded in rallying an international IT army to help it fight the digital war. Anonymous, Ukraine's IT Army, Hacker Forces, and many other hacktivist groups started targeting Russia's private and state-owned enterprises.

Digital warriors don't shy away from targeting services used by civilians. In one attack, 800 Russian resources, including banks, stock exchanges, and insurance services, were hit in a week, disrupting the country's online and mobile banking services.

Meanwhile, the pro-Russian hacker group Killnet has targeted countries that support Ukraine.

Government websites in Italy, Romania, Germany, as well as websites in Czechia, Latvia, and elsewhere were under Killnet's cyber fire. The pro-Russian group has declared a war against NATO and countries that support Ukraine.

When it debuted at the beginning of the year, Killnet was not even the name of an outfit – rather it was the moniker given to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) tool offered at a price to other threat actors.

According to the United Nations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the 'fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.' Over 12 million people were displaced due to the conflict in a nation with 44 million residents.

Witness testimonies from Ukrainian towns Russian forces have occupied for close to a month point to severe human rights violations and targeted lethal attacks against civilians. Reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" got Russia suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.

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