TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The decentralized international hacktivist group Anonymous has hacked into a Chinese website to upload images of an electronic device located in Russia that it had hacked into as a "warning shot" over its military aggression towards Ukraine.
On Tuesday (Feb. 22), Anonymous hacked into the Chinese Culture website (http://www.chineseculture.com.cn/) and uploaded a rogue page including its logo and images of a Russian device that the group had hacked. The website was taken down within a day after the hack, but an archived version of the page changed by the hacktivists can be found on Internet Archive's WayBack Machine.
The first image that appears is the Anonymous logo, immediately followed by an image of the Guy Fawkes mask. Next, is a video that plays the music video for "Fragile," a Mandopop song sung by Malaysian rapper Namewee (黄明志) and Taiwan-based Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語).
Just below that is an embedded video that introduces a group of experimental antiviral drugs being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called DRACO (“Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer”). Next, the words "Operation Samantha Smith" appear, in an apparent reference to the 1980s child peace activist.
In red text, the hackers condemn Putin's recognition of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent. Anonymous states the Russian leader should have instead waited for a UN-brokered peace plan to be concluded instead.
The hacktivist group then writes they followed through with their threat of doing a small-scale hack on a Modbus device, "which we intended as a warning shot."
This is followed by five screenshots of the compromised device. Although the group originally kept the location of the hack ambiguous on the defaced page, a representative later confirmed to Taiwan News that the location of the device is in Russia.
The representative said the hacked device was a Modicon M251 logic controller made by Schneider Electric. The spokesperson said they were previously "playing nice and not give them an excuse to start a war," but now that missiles had been fired on Kyiv and elsewhere, "we are taking off the gloves altogether."
The hacktivist stated, "Anonymous will formally attack Russian websites or devices later" in retaliation for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Images of hacked device. (Anonymous screenshot)