The battle against Russia's war machine not only takes place on the battlefield - but increasingly in cyberspace. A hacker collective, which goes by the name “Nebula,” took over the website of a Russian corporation which, it alleges, contributes to Russia's war effort through its work with the Russian railway service.

 

Following the encryption of all information on Tehtrans' website, the hacker collective left a note, in Russian, which said, in part: “We presume you don't appreciate that we've just encrypted your network, including your railway servers. It's hard work after all, having to assist in smuggling Russian military equipment into Ukraine.

 

“You can relax now though; you'll have no work to do considering your network is absolutely destroyed. Leave it to us, we will take care of railway operations.”

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The hacker collective's statement continued by saying: “Thank you kindly for the 3.5TB worth of data. Normally, we'd threaten to leak it if you don't pay us, but we are thoughtful hackers.

 

“Instead, we've decided to give all of your employees the week off.”

 

3.5 Terabytes would be equivalent to roughly 56 million documents. 

 

The hacker collective concluded with a promise: “We know it's difficult not having access to files, therefore we will be sure to make all of them publicly available in the coming days.

 

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“Have a great rest of your week.”

 

A separate note, in English, said: “This is an official notice regarding the seizure of your domain due to your cooperation in Russian military operations.”

 

Historically, Nebula, has taken credit for multiple other hacks on Russian government computers, which it has then made publicly available.

According to photos released by the hacker collective on their Twitter account on Wednesday morning, Nebula had gained access to the cameras in Tehtrans' meeting rooms and had spied on the corporation's employees. Moreover, the server's name, RAIL-SRV, supports the argument that Tehtrans was involved with Russia’s rail industry.

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Depending on the browser used, visitors to the corporation's website are now greeted with a playable version of Pac-Man, the early video game.

 

Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia's infrastructure has been routinely hacked by international and Russian hackers. The rise of hacking being done by Russians against state entities and enterprises that support the war effort has recently increased.

 

Early in the war, NB65, a collective allegedly consisting of hackers formerly linked with the “Anonymous” group, successfully hacked into the Russian government's space agency, Roscosmos and blocked its ability to communicate with the space organization's Central Command Center before uploading malware to that had been developed by the Russian government itself. 

 

A different organization, which claimed to be Russian, calling itself the Russian National Republican Army (NRA), hacked IT corporations whose technologies are used by the Russian military and intelligence services – in attempts to make them vulnerable to future hacking attacks.

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