Anti-Kremlin Hackers Seek to Avenge Navalny

( – Supporters of Alexey Navalny, who died in a Siberian prison on February 16th while imprisoned for violating the terms of his probation relating to fraud and extremism charges executed a hacking campaign against the Kremlin within hours of his death.

Navalny was a long-time opponent and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and denied all charges laid against him, maintaining that his imprisonment was a political maneuver to protect Putin’s hold on the country. Following the 47-year-old’s death in prison, a group of hackers used their skills to protest his demise.

By accessing a computer network connected to the national prison system, they were able to upload Navalny’s photograph to the prison contractor’s own website, as well as write, “Long live Alexey Navalny!” and add a photograph of the dead campaigner attending a rally with his wife Yulia. The hackers posted a message declaring their intent to continue their work until the “Putin regime” was toppled and spoke of their love for their country.

They claimed to have taken the contact information for 800,000 prisoners, including details of prisoners based in the Arctic prison where Navalny had been serving a 19-year sentence. They explained that they hoped that the contact details provided would help supporters of Navalny to get to the bottom of his untimely death in custody. They also claimed to have reduced the prices of food available to inmates in the prison stores to a single ruble, equivalent to one cent. Although this claim has yet to be independently verified, a social media post by the online prison store did make apologies for prices being incorrectly displayed on February 19th.

The hackers reportedly destroyed a computer server when prison authorities attempted to remove their pro-Navalny messaging after being warned not to make any alterations. The group is alleged to include Russian IT experts as well as Ukrainian activists and managed to make changes to the prison website for three days as authorities scrambled to regain control.

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