Hackers steal 920,000 emails from Russia’s largest state media group

Hackers obtained more than 900,000 emails from the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK), the country’s largest state media company.

The emails, which appear to span over 20 years of communications, were provided to journalist collective Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) by hacker group Network Battalion 65′ (NB65).

VGTRK, also known as Russian Television and Radio (RTR), was founded in 1990 and currently serves five national television channels, five radio stations, two international networks and more than 80 regional television and radio networks.

Among the prominent media groups under VGTRK is Rossiya Segodnya, which runs the Sputnik news agency. VGTRK also boasts that the audience of its popular TV program “Rossiya 1” makes up 98.5% of the Russian population, while its international version reaches viewers in the US, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and China.

DDoSecrets has made the 786.2 GB email cache publicly available as a torrent file. NB65 cited the war in Ukraine as the main motivating factor behind the break, telling the Daily Dot it will continue to hurt “government-related companies” until Russia steps down.

“The longer Russian aggression lasts, the longer we will continue to target businesses and internet-connected technologies across the country,” the group said.

Analysis by the Daily Dot shows the hacked data, extracted from around 250 inboxes, dates back to 2000 and as recently as March of this year. Emails discuss everything from day-to-day operations to issues related to international sanctions against Russia.

VGTRK has been repeatedly accused of being nothing more than a propaganda arm for the Kremlin. The Russian government has even declared VGTRK to be essential to “state security”.

The breach is just the latest in an ever-growing wave of hacktivism directed at Russia for its attack on Ukraine. As a result, DDoSecrets has received a significant number of data dumps from a number of Russian companies.

Just last week, the journalist collective released 5,500 emails from Thozis Corp., a Russian investment firm owned by billionaire Zakhar Smushkin, which it received from hackers operating under the Anonymous banner. Another 140,000 emails from MashOil, a company that makes equipment for the drilling, mining and fracking industries, were also shared with DDoSecrets by Anonymous.

Other leaks shared with DDoSecrets in March alone include 2.4 GB of emails from Russian construction company RostProekt, 22.5 GB of files from the Central Bank of Russia, 15.3 GB of files from Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, 79 gigabytes of e- Mails from the research and development department of the Russian state-controlled pipeline company Transneft and 817.5 GB of files from Roskomnadzor, the Russian agency tasked with monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian media.

DDoSecrets co-founder Emma Best told the Daily Dot that the rise in hacktivism in response to the invasion of Ukraine offers an unprecedented glimpse into Russia’s interior.

“Honestly, we’ve never seen so much data from Russia before,” Best said. “The post-invasion Russian leaks easily outweigh any pre-invasion Russian leaks.”

Cyber ​​attacks have become so constant that Russia’s foreign ministry vowed last week that it would uncover and apply “serious consequences” to anyone engaged in “cyber aggression.”

However, given the sheer size of the VGTRK hack, as well as other recent leaks, it will likely take researchers years to comb through. The Daily Dot contacted VGTRK to inquire about the breach of its systems but received no response.

Anton Shirikov, a graduate student in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has studied Russian media for years, argues that the current wave of hacktivism could give propaganda scholars a better insight into the inner workings of state media.

“Overall, if we think about these hacks, there’s potential to uncover something that would be relevant to Western intelligence agencies or people in government working on sanctions,” Shirikov told the Daily Dot. “Maybe the Ukrainians could use some of that in their information war as well. I don’t think there is much potential to directly influence what is happening in Russia through such hacks because Russian media is very censored at the moment and there is little chance of something like that getting through.”

The international anti-Russia hacktivism campaign is unlikely to abate any time soon. NB65, as well as numerous other hacking groups, have hinted that there is a lot more data on the way.

*Initial publication: April 4, 2022 at 7:00 am CDT

Michael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.

Michael Thalen

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/hackers-vgtrk-920k-emails-anonymous-russia/ Hackers steal 920,000 emails from Russia’s largest state media group

Jaclyn Diaz

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button