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Shadowy hackers group Anonymous declares cyberwar on Russia for Ukraine invasion

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Shadowy hackers group Anonymous declares cyberwar on Russia for Ukraine invasion
Members and supporters of the Anonymous hacking group wear Guy Fawkes masks. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 1 (UPI) -- The shadowy global hacking group called "Anonymous" has declared a cyber war against Russia for invading Ukraine and targeting civilian populations across the Eastern European nation.

The mysterious group has already claimed responsibility for disabling a host of Russian and Belarusian government websites -- as well as sites belonging to other key Russian entities, including state oil company Gazprom and state-run news agency RT.

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A Twitter account belonging to the group, which has more than 7.4 million followers, called on the global hacking community last week to take actions against Russia.

Founded in 2003, Anonymous has been behind some high-profile digital attacks and Time magazine named the group among its 100 Most Influential People list in 2012. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

"Humanity, question for you? When can we all stop being [expletive] to each other and live in peace?" the group said in a tweet early Tuesday. "End all this senseless violence already."

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"Thermobaric bombs kill innocent civilians by suffocating them. We call on all digital activists to target Russian the government and its allies' assets," the group said in another tweet on Monday. "WE DO NOT FORGIVE. WE DO NOT FORGET. We are Anonymous."

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Denial of service attacks were still active against Russian sites by early this week, and official sites for the Kremlin and Russia's defense ministry were said to be crippled. Anonymous also claimed that it has hacked Moscow's defense database.

Some Russian media websites appear to have been hacked, with three displaying an anti-war message on Monday.

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"Dear citizens. We urge you to stop this madness, don't send your sons and husbands to certain death," messages on Forbes Russia, Fontanka and Takie Dela read, according to CNN. "Putin makes us lie and puts us in danger."

Jamie Collier, a consultant at U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant, cautioned that it's difficult to confirm who the aggressors are in such digital attacks.

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"It can be difficult to directly tie this activity to Anonymous, as targeted entities will likely be reluctant to publish related technical data," Collier told The Guardian.

"However, the Anonymous collective has a track record of conducting this sort of activity and it is very much in line with their capabilities."

Founded in 2003, Anonymous has been behind some high-profile digital attacks and Time magazine named the group among its 100 Most Influential People list in 2012.

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Scenes from the Russian war on Ukraine

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

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