Taking Your Cyberattacks on Russia to the Next Level

Congratulations to those of you who participated in the DDoS attacks that I reported on in my last post. They created numerous headlines like the following from Quartz.

The attack vectors I reported on are still doing their job of keeping government, military, and media websites offline. However, some people may want to do more, so this post is for those who may want to try some different ways to interfere with Russia’s aggression. Some of you may want to join the IT Army of Ukraine. To do this, though, you’ll have to use the Telegram app. I should warn you that both sides of this war are fighting it out here.

DDoS Attacks

Everyday, the IT Army of Ukraine puts out IP addresses of sites it is trying to take down. More often than not, these sites soon go offline. The problem is that many of the posts are in Ukrainian but some are listed in both Ukrainian and English. Now, you might think that it would be illegal to use DDoS tools, but you’d be wrong. All you have to do is look at them as ‘network stress testing tools’. In other words, imagine that you want to find out how well your network would hold up under a DDoS attack. You’d do this by using one of these tools. Of course, they can easily be used to launch a DDoS attack on a specific site, but the producers of the tool will never admit this. If normal safety protocols are taken (using a VPN or Tor browser) the chances of anyone in law enforcement coming after you for participating in a DDoS attack are extremely low, especially if the site that is being targeted is in Russia. In that case, there is almost no chance anything would happen to you in terms of law enforcement. Anyway, without giving any links, here are some good DDoS or network stress testing tools.

And here is an online site that can do the same.

Media Attacks

 The Ukrainian cyber army has taken down a number of media sites and taken over others to broadcast their own messages. One of the best sites for taking down Russian media is here. It begins operating as soon as you visit their page.

Leaks of email addresses and telephone numbers of individuals associated with the media or the military can be found on this site.

Such information will allow you to send personal emails or SMS/text messages to selected individuals. If you speak Russian, you can even give them a call.

Remember that emails can contain links to videos of captured Russian soldiers telling the people of Russia what is actually going on in Ukraine. Those videos can be found on the IT Army of Ukraine site, on YouTube, or on the Ukraine War Report. If all else fails, you can send them to the pro-Ukraine video made by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold on Twitter: “I love the Russian people. That is why I have to tell you the truth. Please watch and share. https://t.co/6gyVRhgpFV” / Twitter

To avoid spam filters, it’s a good idea to get a new Gmail account that you can use only for this purpose.

Other sites are basically DDoS sites, but they specifically target media. This one does much of the work for you.

The Mata Hari Angle

I’m not sure anyone has tried this approach yet, but, on paper, it should work. That said, it will only suit particular types of individuals but, if done well, it could prove very effective.

So why refer to this as the Mata Hari angle? Mata Hari was the name of a Dutch exotic dancer who claimed to be from Java. Her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. Her story is complex but, briefly, she became well-known and was approached by the French government during World War I to do some spying. They wanted her to use her charms to infiltrate the German army by befriending high ranking military leaders. Her eventual goal was to become involved with Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is unclear whether she got any important information from the German officers she befriended. In the end, they may have set her up to be arrested by the French as a double agent. She was executed for spying in 1917 for what many historians claim were false charges. Anyway, keep this in mind if you use this approach.

The technique employed is that used in romance scams. Any dating site can be used, though Tinder is recommended because, apparently, many Russian soldiers use the app. In fact, you can get a list of Russian military people who already have Tinder accounts here. The idea is to set up a profile posing as a beautiful woman who thinks Russia is being unfairly treated by world media or a woman who is a Russophile looking for Russian friends. There is no need to speak Russian but, of course, this would help. You could use a translator app and explain that your Russian isn’t very good to explain inconsistencies from the translator. You could even try using English directly.

This leak of information on FSB (the Russian version of the CIA) employees involved in the attack on Ukraine has just become available. It could be used in this or other attacks. Use your browser’s translate button to see it in English.

Of course, you could use this technique to try to distribute the truth about the war to the soldiers, if they haven’t already figured that out for themselves. However, to turn this into an information gathering operation, you’ll have to befriend them. The goal is to get them to give information on where they are and what they know of their plans. Choose an unknown photo of an attractive woman for your profile. Make sure the woman is not famous so her photo can’t be found in an image search. One way to do this is to do a Google search on “beautiful women of (insert country name)”. Look in images and choose a photo. Give her a name and then create a fake Facebook profile in that name that’s connected to a new email account. Now, you’re all set to meet your Russian soldier. If you learn of any good information, you can send it to any Ukrainian leak site such as the Russia Leak site mentioned above. You will find a contact email address on their homepage.

Reporting Russian Disinformation and Money Transfer Apps

You might think that YouTube would instantly take down any Russian disinformation, but they don’t. They are being overwhelmed with videos which the algorithms simply can’t identify as disinformation. In other cases, they may have taken down the particular video but the account is still there with links to disinformation on other sites.

This is where you come in. If you find a disinformation video, report it to the site owners or report the account to YouTube. The link to the video shown above went to the Yandex Zen site. Both sites were in Russian but you can use your browser’s translate option. I reported the video above on this form.

You can get a list of disinformation video channels on the bottom of the page on this site.

On another front, Russian oligarchs are trying to find ways around sanctions that make it impossible to transfer money back to Russia. I located one of these apps on Google Play and reported it. As usual, Google Play is very slow to respond to these reports, so a concerted effort to remove it from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store is necessary.  You can also add its website to your DDoS list.

More such apps are probably being offered as Russia tries to get money back for their war efforts. These apps are the front lines in the cyber war. It’s time to enter the fight.

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