Russian space agency latest target of cyberspace retribution for Ukraine invasion

Worldwide condemnation and response to Vladimir Putin's assault on Ukraine has taken many forms, not the least of which have been cyber attacks. The most recent, according to a Vice report, is a hack of a website connected to Russia's Space Research Institute (IKI).

It's not immediately clear how significant the breach will be to the agency, which designs and builds scientific instruments for space experiments, but it is an indication that no part of Russia's information infrastructure is off limits to retaliation for Putin's war.

A message left on the IKI-related website reads: "“Heyyy Russian [homophobic slur].. Sorry.. Cosmonauts ??.. idk what to say, go get a nice website instead of threatening people with ISS, heard??” The mention of ISS clearly is a reference to recent comments from Russian authorities around the possibility of sabotaging operations of the International Space Station.

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“Also leave Ukraine alone else Anonymous will f*ck you up even more :))” the message added. The hackers that claimed responsibility for the compromise called themselves v0g3lsec on Twitter.

V0g3lsec also posted a selection of what it claimed were files taken from the Roscosmos, Russia’s overall Space Agency, which is a different organization to the one they compromised. Roscosmos on Thursday announced it would no longer supply spacecraft rocket motors to the United States as retaliation for sanctions against Putin, oligarchs and Russia itself. The U.S., however, has a cache of those rocket motors it can utilize for upcoming launches.