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Anonymous takes the Kremlin offline in Putin protest

Hacktivist group reacts as former president sweeps back to power

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Hacktivist group Anonymous has been up to its old tricks again, this time briefly taking out the web site of the Russian president as a show of support for the growing opposition to newly re-crowned leader Vladimr Putin.

Like most of the group's DDoS campaigns, the attack only temporarily disrupted the kremlin.ru site, which is back online now, according to reports.

Anonymous tweeted from its Op_Russia Twitter account on Wednesday, referencing OpDefiance, its new campaign designed to protest against what it claims were unfair elections in Russia which swept former president and prime minister Putin back to power.

The Kremlin should have seen the attack coming really, given that Anonymous broadcast to the world via a YouTube clip at the weekend that it would be supporting Russian protests against Putin’s re-election by “taking down government information resources”.

Russian news site RT claimed that government web sites gov.ru and government.ru were also under attack on Wednesday, but managed to stay online.

The Kremlin released a brief but defiant statement to RT.com.

We received threats from Anonymous several days ago but we can’t confirm it’s exactly this group that attacked the Kremlin.ru website. At the moment we can’t establish who’s behind the attack. Unfortunately we live at a time when technology security threats have mounted, but we have the means to resist them.

It would be fair to expect similar attacks on Russian government sites in the coming days, as long as the protests against Putin continue.

Ironically, the Kremlin itself was accused during the Russian parliamentary election in December of DDoS-ing several critical web sites in a bid to stifle debate about possible electoral fraud. ®

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