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Anonymous hackers have managed to rename Russian President Vladimir Putin's yacht and put it on a course to 'hell'.
In the immediate fallout of Putin declaring war against Ukraine with his 'special military operation', now in its fifth day after thousands of reported casualties, missile strikes across the country and peace talks coming to a close, the cyberhacker collective took action.
'The Anonymous collective is officially in cyber war against the Russian government,' the group wrote, before briefly taking down Russia Today's website.
Just yesterday, February 27, Anonymous issued a chilling warning to Putin. 'Mr Putin, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine has shown that your regime has no respect for human rights or the self determination of your neighbours,' one hacker said in a video, sporting the usual Guy Fawkes mask.
'In the past several days a full scale invasion has commenced, civilian neighbourhoods have been bombed and innocent people have been killed. Refugees are fleeing the violence and the population is being forced into conscription by Ukrainian officials. This is an ugly situation all around but you are the instigator,' they added.
Putin reportedly has a $97 million luxury yacht called "Graceful". A group of Anonymous hackers on Saturday figured out a way to mess with maritime traffic data & made it look like the yacht had crashed into Ukraine's Snake Island, then changed its destination to "hell": pic.twitter.com/Ch53lcG7D6— Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) February 27, 2022
In their latest move, the hackers gained access to the Automatic Identification System used to track ship locations across the world, and changed the name of Putin’s yacht from 'Graceful' to 'FCKPTN', in addition to setting its destination to 'anonymous', 'anonleaks' and eventually 'hell'.
According to Bloomberg's Ryan Gallagher, the hackers 'wanted to put the yacht in the scope of sanction packages' as well as ‘put a little smile on some faces for a short period in these dark times’.
In a recent blog post, Anonymous said their cyberattacks alone 'will not bring down a regime' and explained this was 'not an operation against the people of Russia. It’s not even one against Russian soldiers. The operation targets Putin and the Putin-controlled state apparatus, state-owned companies, the state-controlled media, and individuals and private companies that have benefited from Putin’s autocratic system for decades', as per The Independent.
'It is also directed against groups and media that carry Putin’s gaslighting abroad. Putin, who is using hacker squads and troll armies against Western democracies, is getting a sip of his own bitter medicine,' it added.
At the time of writing, the callsign of the ship is still set to 'ANONYMO'. The yacht has been valued at £73 million — a small portion of Putin's estimated $70 billion fortune — featuring an indoor pool, spa, bar and helideck.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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