Transparency Org Releases Alleged Leak of Russian Censorship Agency

Distributed Denial of Secrets said the 800GB of data came from a section of Roskomnadzor, and that Anonymous claimed responsibility.
Image: Mikhail Tereschenko/Contributor

Transparency organization Distributed Denial of Secrets has released what it says is 800GB of data from a section of Roskomnadzor, the Russian government body responsible for censorship in the country.

On Distributed Denial of Secrets’ website, the organization describes the data as coming from a hack and says that Anonymous claimed responsibility. Roskomnadzor is the agency that has in recent days announced a block of Facebook and other websites in the country as the war in Ukraine intensifies.


Specifically, Distributed Denial of Secrets says the data comes from the Roskomnadzor of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The Republic of Bashkortostan is in the west of the country.

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Motherboard found references to the Republic of Bashkortostan in some of the released files.

“Appears genuine but I cannot vouch all of them of course,” Andrei Soldatov, a Russian journalist who has extensively covered Russia’s censorship apparatus, told Motherboard in an online message after reviewing a small subsection of the files. “Right now I don’t see anything really surprising.”

The data is split into two main categories: a series of over 360,000 files totalling in at 526.9GB and which date up to as recently as March 5, and then two databases that are 290.6GB in size, according to Distributed Denial of Secrets’ website.

“We will soon be releasing the raw data while we look for solutions to extracting the data. One appears to be a legal research database that was, according to the file timestamp, last modified in 2020. The other appears to be a database for HR procedures,” Distributed Denial of Secrets wrote on its website.

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