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Anonymous claims it hacked Russia’s central bank and will soon release thousands of files

March 24, 2022, 4:22 PM UTC

A Twitter account claiming to be connected with the activist collective Anonymous announced this week that it hacked Russia’s central bank, and it is planning to release 35,000 documents over the next 48 hours detailing “secret agreements.”

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

The international collective of hackers declared cyber war on Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine a month ago. 

“Soon you will feel the wrath of the world’s hackers,” Anonymous declared in a video on Twitter in late February.

So far, the group says it has made good on its threat. In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, hackers linked to Anonymous said they hacked Russian state TV channels and briefly interrupted programming to show a video of Ukrainian buildings being bombed. Rostelecom, the Russian company that runs the allegedly hacked TV channels, did not respond to BBC’s requests for comment. 

The Russian government has tight control over the media in the country, and earlier this month Putin signed a law that criminalizes reporting that goes against the official government stance on the war in Ukraine.

While Western countries have escalated sanctions to cut Russia off from international trade and the international banking system, Anonymous has taken less conventional action against the country.

The group has threatened any companies that have not ceased operations in Russia following the invasion, tweeting at the companies, “Your time is running out. We do not forgive. We do not forget.” Earlier this month, members linked to the group also offered Russian troops $52,000 in Bitcoin if they abandoned their tanks on the battlefield. 

As the war in Ukraine continues to drag on, the battle is increasingly being waged online. A group of Polish hackers calling themselves Squad 303 (named after a World War II Polish fighter squadron) built a website that enabled people to send text messages to random Russian phone numbers to tell them what was happening in Ukraine. The group claims more than 20 million SMS and WhatsApp messages have been sent through the service, according to the BBC.

The government of Ukraine is also reportedly expanding its online efforts, according to a tweet by Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, to protect Ukraine’s online infrastructure and launch counterattacks.

“We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents,” Fedorov said.

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