An Anonymous-affiliated group has defaced a website belonging to Russia’s Space Research Institute (IKI) and leaked files allegedly belonging to the Russian space agency Roscosmos in the latest salvo from hacktivists working in support of Ukraine.

According to Vice, hackers appear to have compromised one subdomain of the IKI website, though other subdomains remain operational. The site’s compromised section is related to the World Space Observatory Ultraviolet project (WSO-UV), which is similar to the Hubble Space Telescope and is scheduled to launch in 2025.

A popular Twitter account associated with the loosely organized Anonymous movement shared details Thursday morning, attributing the action to a group called v0g3lSec.

The website was unavailable at the time of publication. An archived version of the website captured on March 3rd morning shows the message:

“Heyyy Russian f*** .. Sorry.. Cosmonauts ??.. idk what to say, go get a nice website instead of threatening people with ISS, heard??”

The final section of the message presumably refers to remarks made by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos: following the announcement of US sanctions, Rogozin seemed to imply that the partnership between NASA and Russian agencies could end, threatening the future of the International Space Station.

The YourAnonNews account also shared a link to a cloud-hosted zip file purportedly containing data from the Russian space agency. According to Vice, the download includes handwritten forms, PDFs, and spreadsheets, as well as descriptions of lunar missions. The Verge was unable to confirm the data’s authenticity.

The attack on Roscosmos comes just days after another Anonymous-affiliated group claimed to have disabled Russian satellite control systems. The group, known on Twitter as NB65, claimed to have shut down a monitoring system used by the Russian space agency, though details could not be verified and the claims were refuted by Rogozin.

As the ground war between Russia and Ukraine continues, a growing number of vigilante actors are mounting operations against Russia and its allies in the cyber domain, with data leaks emerging as a strategic tool. Aside from NB65, a hacking group called AgainstTheWest claimed to have breached the Rosatom nuclear energy company, and another group called Anonymous Liberland released 200GB of emails stolen from Belarusian defense contractor Tetraedr.

Russia and the United States have collaborated on a number of space missions in recent decades, but there are signs that Russian space agencies are becoming embroiled in the conflict. Roscosmos effectively held the commercial satellites of London-based company OneWeb hostage when the Russian agency halted a planned launch this week and issued a list of demands to its customer. Roscosmos also stated that Russia would no longer sell rocket engines to the United States, though the impact on US companies would be limited.


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