A faction of the Anonymous hacking collective claimed on Sunday that they hacked into unsecured printers in Russia to spread anti-propaganda messages, according to outlets like Raw Story.
The claim was made by a so-called Anonymous Affiliate Twitter Account with approximately 8,800 subscribers. This was later verified when reporters were able to reach members in charge of the account and view documents related to the printer hack.
“We published anti-propoganda [sic] and then [browser] installation instructions for printers everywhere #Russia for 2 hours and printed over 100,000 copies so far,” the original tweet read. “15 people are working on this operation as we speak.
The tweet was accompanied by images of a print prompt on a computer screen and a PDF file containing expanded Russian Cyrillic text. A previous tweet claimed that the hackers had so far reached 156 printers. Anonymous as a whole has claimed numerous cyberattacks against Russia in the wake of the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.
Documents sent to printers in Russia include a message informing citizens that President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin and the Russian media lied to them about the invasion. It also includes instructions to help them access a free browser that will allow them to bypass state censorship and view “real media”.
“Citizens of Russia, act now to stop the terrorists[s]. Putin killing thousands in Ukraine,” the PDF reads, when run in Google Lens translation software. “The Russian people should abhor Putin’s actions.”
The dossier continues to indicate that the Russian government’s concerns over borders and fear of Western influence were the real causes of the war, not actions taken against the Russians by Ukraine, as Putin claimed. and the Kremlin.
The post ends with a blunt call to action.
“A wad of paper and ink is a cheap price for the blood of the innocent,” it read. “Fight for your heritage and honor, overthrow Putin’s corrupt system stealing from your pockets. Return respect. Give peace and glory to Ukraine, which did not deserve the murder of its innocents!”
On March 13, the account responsible for the printer hack also claimed to be working on a “HUGE… data dump that will blow Russia up.”
On Thursday, the Kremlin announced that functionality had been restored to its website, which Anonymous members said they had taken offline. A day earlier, a popular Twitter account affiliated with Anonymous shared a screenshot showing the downed server status of Kremlin.ru.
Newsweek contacted Russian officials for comment.