A Twitter account, which claims to be associated with the hacker-activist group Anonymous, announced on Thursday that Russia's central bank has been hacked and 35,000 files on "secret agreements" will be released within 48 hours.
In February, the group had declared cyber war on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Its hackers have since been targeting Russian institutions.
"Soon you will feel the full wrath of the world's hackers. Your secrets may no longer be safe and there is a chance that key components of your government’s infrastructure could be hijacked."Anonymous, in a video on Twitter
Last week, hackers operating under the banner of Anonymous told the BBC that they hacked Russian state TV channels and briefly interrupted normal programming with images of bombs exploding in Ukraine and soldiers talking about the horrors of war.
Russian government websites have also been targeted, for which the group has taken credit.
Who are Anonymous?
Anonymous is a loosely organised group of hackers with members from around the globe, which appears to have been operating since at least 2008, when it targeted the Church of Scientology.
From there it pivoted towards 'hacktivism', targeting governments and corporations over major issues. Members are known to wear Guy Fawkes masks and use voice changers or text-to-speech programs to mask their voices.
The group, doesn't seem to have a clearly defined hierarchy or a formal set of rules, which makes it difficult to accurately attribute cyber attacks to them.
Cyberwar Between Russia & Ukraine
Even before the Russian invasion began, Ukraine’s government, army, and banks have been on the receiving end of cyber attacks of Russian origin.
Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov told the press that the key goal of these attacks is to destabilise, sow panic, and create chaos in the country.
In response, Ukraine announced that it is creating its own IT army to launch counterattacks.
Other hacker groups are also extending support to Ukraine.
A Polish hacking team called Squad 303, which is coordinating with Anonymous, built a website allowing the public to send texts to random Russian phone numbers, telling them the truth about the war, BBC reported.
The west has imposed crippling sanctions against Russia, following which several tech companies, food chains, automakers and other businesses ceased operations in the country.