Turkish Hackers Hijack Russian Official’s Instagram Account

RIA NOVOSTI/Grigoriy Sisoev/Sputnik/AFP
RIA NOVOSTI/Grigoriy Sisoev/Sputnik/AFP

Turkey has accused the Russian government of having a hand in cyberattacks launched against government and private Turkish websites, after the downing of a Russian fighter in November.

A hacktivist counterattack occurred over the weekend, as a team of Turkish hackers hijacked the Instagram account of Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov.

The “Bortecine Cyber Team” claimed responsibility for the attack, which replaced Nikiforov’s Instagram pictures with “the Turkish flag, a still of the downed Russian Su-24 jet, and a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic,” according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Hurriyet notes the hackers seized control of Nikiforov’s account on Sunday and still controlled it as of Monday morning, leading some Russians to joke that “it will continue to be so until the end of Russia’s official 10-day New Year holiday.”

In fact, NDTV reports that Instagram technical support restored control of the account to its owner after about nine hours.

The Hill notes that last week, the hacker collective Anonymous took credit for the wave of cyberattacks Turkey blamed on Russia, describing them as a protest over Turkey’s alleged support for ISIS.