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Anonymous hacks over 400 Russian cameras to support Ukraine

'Putin is killing children, 352 Ukraine civilians dead' among messages posted on live camera feeds in Russia

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Live view from four security cameras in Russia. (Anonymous screenshot)

Live view from four security cameras in Russia. (Anonymous screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Anonymous has hacked into over 400 surveillance cameras across Russia and posted anti-Putin messages to support Ukraine.

To retaliate over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a representative of the decentralized international hacktivist collective on Wednesday (March 9) informed Taiwan News that it has hijacked over 400 security cameras across Russia. The collective has compiled live feeds from about 100 Russian cameras onto a website called behindenemylines.live.

On the website, Anonymous explains that the hacks are a message to Russia that it must "pay a huge price because of the shameful decision of the dictator Putin to attack an independent Ukraine by armed forces." The collective asserted that sanctions imposed on Russia will "collapse the entire country" and have worse consequences for the Russian people than the oligarchy.

Anonymous hacks over 400 Russian cameras to support Ukraine
(Anonymous screenshot)

Anonmous stated that "150 million Russians do not know the truth about the causes or course of the war in Ukraine" and are instead fed a steady stream of "Kremlin propaganda." The collective stated that the purposes of the hacks are to "spread information to the Russian people" as well as serve as a possible reconnaissance tool for Ukrainian forces.

Most of the cameras are located deep inside Russia, thus the collective said the current wave of hacks will be mainly used for a "large anti-propaganda movement." Anonymous pointed out that it is currently working on accessing cameras in Belarus, Ukraine, and areas of Russia closer to the conflict to be used exclusively for reconnaissance by the Ukrainian military.

The collective then directly addressed Russians: "we just want you to know that you are being brainwashed by state propaganda, and the Kremlin and Putin are lying to you." The authors stressed the fact that "Ukraine is not controlled by Nazis" and wrote that the people of Ukraine "do not need you to 'free' them."

Anonymous hacks over 400 Russian cameras to support Ukraine
(Anonymous screenshot)

Anonymous called on ordinary Russians to "fight back and free yourself from your dictator." Trying to encourage Russians considering rising up against their government, the collective vowed, "You will have the entire world behind you, supporting you, and watching you." The post ended with tips about public anti-war actions that can be taken outside of Russia and Ukraine, inside Russia or Belarus, and inside Ukraine.

Clicking on the "Cameras" dropdown menu reveals numerous live feeds from surveillance cameras labeled as "Businesses, Outside, Inside, Houses, Restaurants, Offices, Schools, and Security Offices." In many cases, English text messages have been superimposed over the live camera feeds, including the following:

"Putin is killing children

352 Ukraine civilians dead

Russians lied to 200RF.com

Slava Ukraini! Hacked by Anonymous"

The domain 200RF.com is a website set up by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs to enable Russian relatives to identify dead or captured Russian soldiers from the battlefields of Ukraine. Its homepage includes the latest video interviews of Russian prisoners of war as well as a search feature for families to search through Ukraine's database of captured and killed Russian troops.

"Slava Ukraini!," Ukrainian for "Glory to Ukraine!" is a national salute currently being used as a symbol of defiance against the Russian invaders. It has been adopted worldwide to demonstrate solidarity with the nation.