Hackers target Russian prisoner database in retaliation for Navalny’s death


Within hours of opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s death in February in a Russian prison, a group of anti-Kremlin hackers went looking for revenge.

Using their access to a computer network tied to Russia’s prison system, the hackers plastered a photo of Navalny on the hacked prison contractor’s website, according to interviews with the hackers, screenshots and data reviewed by CNN.

“Long live Alexey Navalny!” read a message on the hacked website, accompanied by a photo of Navalny and his wife Yulia at a political rally.

In a stunning breach of security, they also appear to have stolen a database containing information on hundreds of thousands of Russian prisoners and their relatives and contacts, including, the hackers claim, data held on prisoners in the Arctic penal colony where Navalny died on February 16.

The hackers, who say they are a mix of nationalities, including Russian expatriates and Ukrainians, are sharing that data, including phone numbers and email addresses of prisoners and their relatives “in the hope that somebody can contact them and help understand what happened to Navalny,” a hacker claiming to be involved in the breach told CNN.

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