Yet the third month of war finds Russia, not the United States, struggling under an unprecedented hacking wave that entwines government activity, political voluntarism and criminal action.
Digital assailants have plundered the country’s personal financial data, defaced websites and handed decades of government emails to anti-secrecy activists abroad. One recent survey showed more passwords and other sensitive data from Russia were dumped onto the open Web in March than information from any other country.
The published documents include a cache from a regional office of media regulator Roskomnadzor that revealed the topics its analysts were most concerned about on social media — including antimilitarism and drug legalization — and that it was filing reports to the FSB federal intelligence service, which has been arresting some who complain about government policies.
A separate hoard from VGTRK, or All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Co., exposed 20 years of emails from the state-owned media chain and is “a big one” in expected impact, said a researcher at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss his work on dangerous hacking circles.
The broadcasting cache and some of the other notable spoils were obtained by a small hacktivist group formed as the war began looking inevitable, called Network Battalion 65.
“Federation government: your lack of honor and blatant war crimes have earned you a special prize,” read one note left…