Anonymous hackers published the mail database of the Ministry of Culture of Russia

Anonymous and the Russian Ministry of Culture

The media discovered that Anonymous hackers had made public a database of emails from the Russian Ministry of Culture, the administration of the city of Blagoveshchensk, and the office of the governor of the Tver region. The total size of the dump exceeded 700 GB.

According to Kommersant, in the leaked documents you can find information about salaries, layoffs, and defects in cultural heritage sites.

The data was published on the hacktivist website DDoSecrets (Distributed Denial of Secrets). According to media reports, the dump contains 230,000 letters from the Ministry of Culture, 230,000 letters for the period from 2019 to 2022 from the administration of the city of Blagoveshchensk, and 130,000 letters dated 2016-2022 from the office of the governor of the Tver region.

According to Cybernews, the leak was the result of an Anonymous attack, as earlier hacktivists had declared war on the Russian government in connection with a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Kommersant’s own source confirmed that the posted files contain real mail correspondence from Russian departments. The correspondent of the publication got acquainted with one of the archives and made sure that it really contains letters sent from the Ministry of Culture, including information on salaries, dismissals, correspondence on the topic of defects in cultural heritage objects, as well as internal correspondence of employees of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Rosgosexpertiza controlled by the Ministry of Culture.

Representatives of the Ministry of Culture confirmed to the media that they had detected a hacker attack on the email of the subordinate Federal State Budgetary Institution Rosgosexpertiza:

At the moment, FGBU specialists are working to eliminate the consequences of hacking and strengthen the protection of the information bases of the institution. The entire electronic document flow of the Ministry of Culture is functioning normally.

According to information security experts interviewed by the journalists, the cause of the leak was the exploitation of the vulnerability of mail servers, which “speaks of the neglect of cybersecurity policy by government agencies.”

The correspondence of the Ministry of Culture could contain, among other things, information on budgets, projects, provision of conditions by contractors, conditions of competitions and tenders, suggests Ilya Tikhonov, head of compliance and audit at Softline UIB. In his opinion, in such correspondence “with a high degree of probability there is no information that is detrimental to the state.”

However, theoretically, Tikhonov notes, the incident could lead to a revision of budgets, reevaluation of projects and conditions of competitions:

Most likely, all correspondence is nominal, so if someone allowed a personal assessment of the project, tender, contractor, employee, then this information can be made public.

Recall also that we reported that Anonymous claims they hacked dozens of CCTV cameras in Russia.

By Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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