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A hactivist crew has launched a cyber-offensive against Russia with the leak of 2.5 million records, which it claims to have obtained from hacked government and corporate servers.

Team GhostShell said it was leaking the data in protest against the Russian government's willingness to plough its revenues into espionage "even though the country is going through hard times and many people are starving". In a notice accompanying the release, in which it describes Russia as "a state of tyranny and regret", the group boasts that it is only releasing a sample of the huge cache of data it has pwned.

GhostShell is declaring war on Russia's cyberspace, in "Project BlackStar". The project is aimed at the Russian Government. We'll start off with a nice greeting of 2.5 million accounts/records, from governmental, educational, academical, political, law enforcement, telecom, research institutes, medical facilities, large corporations (both national and international branches) in such fields as energy, petroleum, banks, dealerships and many more.

GhostShell currently has access to more Russian files than the FSB and we are very much eager to prove it. - DeadMellox

Many of the documents in the first tranche are purported to have originated from Russian metal working firm MetalProm and recruitment firm Rabota Izhevsk. Russian police and Lada-making auto firm AvtoVAZ account for a handful of files. Most of the documents seem to be system files or database dumps rather than login IDs. The authenticity of the data is, of course, hard to determine.

Team GhostShell, whose motto on Twitter is "forever owning China's cyberspace for the lulz", is lead by self-proclaimed black hat hacker DeadMellox. Its previous exploits have included hacking into the databases of banks, US government agencies and consultancy firms before leaking passwords and other documents back in August. The group has also to have accessed a Chinese technology vendor’s mainframe, a US stock exchange and the Department of Homeland Security. These boasts remain unsubstantiated.

Last month Team GhostShell attacked the world's top 100 universities in a protest against tuition fees and what it reckons to be the falling quality of education across many countries. ®

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