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Hackers claim to have taken control of Russian spy satellites

Hackers (Wikimedia Commons/Released)
March 03, 2022

Hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous claimed on Tuesday that they had hacked Russia’s space agency control center and taken control of Russian spy satellites.

“JUST IN: Hacking group ‘NB65’, affiliated with #Anonymous has shut down the Control Center of the Russian Space Agency ‘Roscosmos’.  #Russia has no more control over their own Spy-Satelites. #OpRussia #OpKremlin #FreeUkraine #FckPutin,” the group tweeted.

NB65 then posted screenshots purporting to show the messaging they left after their takeover of the spy satellite system. “Have a nice Monday fixing your spying tech. Glory to Ukraine,” the message said. “We wont stop until you stop dropping bombs, killing civilians and trying to invade. Go the fuck back to Russia.”

Again on Wednesday, Anonymous hackers claimed to have taken down Roscosmos’ entire website.

The head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, denied the hackers’ claims, The Byte reported.

“The information of these scammers and petty swindlers is not true,” he said, as quoted by the Russian outlet Interfax. “All our space activity control centers are operating normally.”

According to Reuters, Rogozin also said Russia would consider a hack of its satellites an act of war.

“Offlining the satellites of any country is actually a casus belli, a cause for war,” he added, according to Reuters.

Rogozin went on to say that the Russian space agency wants the British-based tech company OneWeb to guarantee its satellites won’t be used against Russia.

Without the guarantee, Rogozin said Russia plans to cancel its upcoming launch of 36 OneWeb satellites. According to the Russian news agency, the satellites are being rented from Kazakhstan and OneWeb will not be compensated.

Last week, Anonymous declared war on Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

“Anonymous VS Vladimir Putin,” the group tweeted. “This is a war Putin cannot win.”

Anonymous reiterated in a separate tweet that the group was not at war with Russia, but rather Putin himself for his “war of aggression” against Ukraine.

“No. Anonymous is not at war with Russia. We are at war with Putin.  The Russian people do not support Putin’s war of aggression against the Ukrainian people. Be wary of accounts posting false statements who are not even involved in actions against Putin,” the group tweeted on Feb. 26.

That same day, Anonymous tweeted again, this time taking credit for a hack that shut down multiple Russian government websites.   

“Confirmed: Various #Russia government websites including the Kremlin, State Duma and Ministry of Defense are again down, with real-time network data showing impact to FSO networks consistent with previous cyberattacks. The incident comes as Russia continues to invade Ukraine,” NetBlocks posted on Twitter, which Anonymous retweeted.

“Russia may be using bombs to drop on innocent people, but Anonymous uses lasers to kill Russian government websites,” Anonymous added.