The Russian faction of Anonymous has claimed responsibility for a cyber-attack on a Russian TV station's website. The outage follows a controversial documentary about Russian protestors produced by NTV.
One of Russia's major TV channels, NTV says its website was down for eleven hours Monday after DDoS attacks 'claimed by Anonymous.'
The site was under continuous threat of serious hacker attacks since last Friday, after the network showed a controversial documentary on the Russian opposition's protests that sparked a wave of outrage.
Anonymous admitted it was behind the cyber attack on March 16. “ntv.ru Tango down!” one member of Russian Anonymous posted to their twitter account.
“Protests Anatomy,” the documentary which sparked the attacks, was first aired last Thursday. Focusing on protests that have been taking place in Moscow ever since the 2011 parliamentary election, NTV speculated about whether protestors were paid from outsideof the country.
The documentary features a number of 'exposing videos' which are said to prove that many protestors were taking part in opposition mass-rallies for money. The reaction was explosive – shortly after the broadcast, a hashtag in Russian – #НТВлжет (#NTVlies) – made it to the top of worldwide trends on Twitter. Many were quick to label the program as outright propaganda, accusing NTV of fabrications and disinformation.
On Sunday, people angry at the channel gathered outside Moscow’s main TV center, which headquarters NTV, for an unsanctioned protest. Dozens were detained, but were released shortly after.
Gazprom-Media Holding, the owner of the channel, has slammed the hackers' attacks: "NTV is an informational and publicist channel that covers all aspects of societal life, and presents a palette of opinions and moods. Programs broadcasted are a matter of discussions of issues of the day. I believe the attacks violate democratic mechanisms and freedom of speech," said Nikolay Senkevich, general director of Gazprom Media.