Hacking group Team GhostShell, which recently hacked records from major universities around the world, has materialized again to announce a declaration of war against Russia. It calls the operation Project BlackStar and claims it already has “access to more russian files than the FSB (Russia’s answer to the CIA).”
Team GhostShell has a novel approach to promoting its ops–it uses mulitple hacked Twitter accounts, posting the same message directed at various tech blogs and writers on each one:
— Susie Hargreaves (@SusieHargreaves) November 2, 2012
The user whose account was used to post the preceding blurb later tweeted, “Any GhostShell or Project Blackstar tweets are not mine. Account compromised.”
In the Pastebin post linked from the hacked accounts, Team GhostShell’s DeadMellox explained why it is targeting Russia:
For far too long Russia has been a state of tyranny and regret. The average citizen is forced to live an isolated life from the rest of the world imposed by it’s [sic] politicians and leaders. A way of thinking outdated for well over 100 years now. The still present communism feeling has fused with todays capitalism and bred together a level of corruption and lack of decency of which we’ve never seen before.
Later in the post, DeadMellox writes that even while the Russian people are having a hard time, “the Russian Government has enough resources to spend on it’s [sic] spies.” That’s why, the hacker writes, “GhostShell is declaring war on Russia’s cyberspace, in “Project BlackStar.”
Aimed directly at the Russian government, Project BlackStar has begun with what DeadMellox calls “a nice greeting of 2.5 million accounts/records leaked, from governmental, educational, academical, political, law enforcement, telecom, research institutes, medical facilities, large corporations (both national and international branches) in such fields as energy, petroleum, banks, dealerships and many more.”
Betabeat reviewed some files with assistance from Google translations and our rusty college Russian, and Team GhostShell appears to be true to its word. Example: a large database dump from the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Scientific Development. It’s hard to say whether this or other files contain vital information–we’ll leave that to the Russians.