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Anonymous says Russia’s spy satellites are now hacked. But the nation denies everything

An illustration of a satellite orbiting the Earth.imaginima/iStock

On Wednesday, a group associated with the collective Anonymous, called Network Battalion 65 or ‘NB65’,  announced in a tweet that it had hacked into Russia’s space agency. The group added that Roscosmos and Russia “have no more control over their own Spy-Satellites.”

But Russia was quick to deny these claims with a statement by Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin released through the Russian news agency Tass.

Just a scam

“The information published by these fraudsters and pretty swindlers is false. All our space control centers operate as usual,” Rogozin further tweeted.

ƯNo one has yet confirmed the breach but the hackers did add that they would not give up their efforts until Russia stopped its invasion of Ukraine. “We won’t stop until you stop dropping bombs, killing civilians, and trying to invade. Go the f*** back to Russia,” they tweeted.

A justification for war

Meanwhile, Rogozin announced in an Interfax report on Wednesday that any hacking of Russia’s satellites would be a justification for war, according to Reuters. “Offlining the satellites of any country is actually a casus belli, a cause for war,” Interfax reported the CEO as saying.

Rogozin further requested that British-based tech firm OneWeb administer guarantees that Roscosmos’ satellites are not going to be used against Russia. The CEO threatened to cancel the planned March 4 launch of 36 OneWeb satellites from the Baikonur cosmodrome without compensating OneWeb if those assurances weren’t made.

According to The Independent, Rogozin has made previous claims that the Russian space industry and all its accompanying segments are highly protected from cyberattacks. Could NB65 have breached these levels of protection? If so, this begs many questions such as who is this hacking group? Where are they based and how do they operate?

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