Anonymous Hacks Into Russian Printers to Deliver Resistance Information

A faction of the hacking collective Anonymous on Sunday claimed to have hacked unsecured printers in Russia to spread anti-propaganda messages, according to outlets like Raw Story.

The claim was made by an allegedly Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account with around 8,800 followers. It was later verified when reporters were able to reach the members in charge of the account and view materials related to the printer hack.

"We have been printing anti-propoganda [sic] and tor [browser] installation instructions to printers all over #Russia for 2 hours, and printed 100,000+ copies so far," the original tweet reads. "15 people working on this op as we speak."

The tweet was accompanied by images of a printer prompt on a computer screen and a PDF file with extensive Russian Cyrillic text. An earlier tweet claimed that the hackers had reached 156 printers so far. Anonymous as a whole has claimed numerous cyberattacks against Russia in the wake of the Kremlin's war on Ukraine.

The materials sent to the printers in Russia include a message telling citizens that President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin, and Russian media have been lying to them about the invasion. It also includes instructions to help them access a free browser that will allow them to bypass state censorship and view "real media."

"Citizens of Russia, act now to stop terrorist[s]. Putin killing over thousands in Ukraine," the PDF file reads, when run through the Google Lens translation software. "The people of Russia should find horror in Putin's actions."

The file continues to state that the Russian government's concerns over borders and fear of Western influence were the real causes of the war, not any actions taken against Russians by Ukraine, as Putin and the Kremlin have claimed.

anonymous russia printer hack
The hacking collective Anonymous has claimed to have hacked numerous Russian printers with anti-invasion messages. Above, a protester is seen wearing the Guy Fawkes mask that Anonymous has adopted as a symbol. Niklas Halle'n/AFP via Getty Images

The message ends with a stark call to action.

"A wad of paper and ink is a cheap price for the blood of the innocent," it reads. "Fight for your heritage and honor, overthrow Putin's corrupt system that steals from your pockets. Return respect. Give peace and glory to Ukraine, which did not deserve the murder of its innocents!"

On March 13, the account taking responsibility for the printer hack also claimed to be working on a "HUGE ... data dump that's gonna blow Russia away."

On Thursday, the Kremlin reported that functionality had been restored to its website, which members of Anonymous said they had taken offline. A day earlier, a popular Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account shared a screenshot showing the down server status of Kremlin.ru.

Newsweek reached out to Russian officials for comment.