Hackers have been stepping up their efforts to disrupt Russian infrastructure since the invasion of Ukraine began last week, with electric car owners being the latest target in an increasingly sophisticated cyber-war.
Social media users have reported some charging stations along Russia's M11 motorway now display the message 'Putin is a d***head'. See for yourself below:
According to a Facebook post by Russian energy company Rosseti, electric vehicle charging stations along Russia’s M11 motorway - which stretches from Moscow to Saint Petersburg - have been taken offline because the Ukrainian company that helped manufacture them reportedly hacked the control system to display anti-Putin messages.
The post states that the Ukrainian company that provided the parts for them left a backdoor in their systems, and by exploiting this back door, the company - named as AutoEnterprise by Rosseti - set the charging points to display an error message which said 'CALL SERVICE NO PLUGS AVAILABLE', before pro-Ukraine messages appeared on a screen.
Some of these included 'GLORY TO UKRAINE', 'GLORY TO THE HEROES', 'PUTIN IS A D***HEAD' and 'DEATH TO THE ENEMY'.
According to an article by Vice, the phrase ‘Putin is a d***head’ has been a popular Ukrainian phrase ever since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, particularly among football fans in the border region of Kharkiv, which has been hit particularly hard during the first wave of the current conflict.
It was not reported how many electric vehicle charging points were hacked or deactivated, or for how long they would be unavailable to drivers of EV, but the Russian company claims that the chargers are being isolated from the rest of the grid network and will be working again soon.
LADbible has contacted AutoEnterprise for a comment.
The incident is just one of several major cyber attacks to befall Russia throughout the past several days, after the notorious hacking collective Anonymous formally declared war on Russian infrastructure following the invasion of Ukraine.
In the days since the declaration, the group has claimed credit for several cyber incidents including a number of sustained distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – where a site is rendered unreachable by being bombarded with traffic – that have brought down a number of government websites and that of the state-backed news service, Russia Today.
The DDoS attacks still appeared to be working as of Tuesday afternoon (1 March), with the official site for the Kremlin still inaccessible at the time of writing.
Anonymous also claimed to have hacked the Ministry of Defence database, while on Sunday it was alleged that the group had hacked Russian state TV channels, posting pro-Ukraine content including patriotic songs and images from the invasion.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram