An American vigilante hacker who goes by the name "The Jester" has defaced the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in retaliation for cyberattacks on the US, warning Russia not to interfere in the upcoming presidential election. On Friday night, the Jester reportedly broke into the Russian government ministry's website leaving behind a mocking message and accusing Moscow of being responsible for the series of WikiLeaks dumps, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks and attempting to influence the November election.
"Comrades! We interrupt scheduled Russian Foreign Affairs Website programming to bring you the following important message," he wrote. "Knock it off. You may be able to push around nations around you, but this is America. Nobody is impressed."
The hacker's mocking message was apparently displayed in full on the site's homepage and accompanied by a piercing dial tone used for civil alert messages regarding extreme weather. The note, which no longer appears on the website, was still visible on Saturday, CNN reports.
On Sunday, Russia's foreign ministry confirmed the attack saying an old version of its website "that has not been used for a long time" was affected over the weekend.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a Facebook post that "specialists are working out what happened."
"If they establish there was hacking by Americans, even of a resource that wasn't working, this is far form pleasant," Zakharova wrote. She also added that the cyberattack could be a sign that a "cyber machine of destruction has started acting."
Earlier this month, US vice president Joe Biden told NBC television that the US was preparing to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying, "it will be at the time of our choosing" and "under the circumstances that have the greatest impact."
Zakharova wrote that the latest cyberattack highlights the fact that the "US elections have wound up people to such a state that they start smashing everything."
Following her post, the Jester tweeted on Sunday, "#OutPropagandered - Getting Russia to admit they got 'dinged." Priceless. They've already started tweaking the story."
The Jester, who has previously taken down jihadist websites, hacked into their discussion forums and identified possible terrorist threats, has been dubbed "the Batman of the Internet." To break into the Russian government's website, he allegedly used a common hacking technique to infiltrate the website by finding a hole in the site's computer code and injecting his own into it.
The mysterious hacker also accused Russia of being behind the waves of DDoS attacks that knocked multiple popular websites offline including Twitter, Netflix and other sites on Friday.
"I wanted to poke them in the eye and stop feeling like US is just taking it on the chin. Again," he told CNNMoney. "I'm not gonna sit around watching these f****rs laughing at us."
The massive DDoS attack on Friday crippled a part of the US internet and prevented users from accessing multiple major websites across the US and Europe.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said they were investing the issue and "all potential causes," but did not specify any possible suspects. Meanwhile, hacktivist groups Anonymous and New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the attacks - claims that multiple security researchers are skeptical about. WikiLeaks, on the other hand, urged its supporters over the weekend to "stop taking down the US internet."
"Now, you can do the usual shrug, smirk, and say 'there's no evidence' that points to Russia being behind any of this stuff," the Jester wrote. "But let's get real, I know it's you, even if by-proxy, and you know it's you. Now, get to your room. Before I lose my temper."
The latest cyberattack comes after Washington officially accused Russia of meddling in the upcoming election by directing cyberattacks by Russian hackers against the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations."
The Kremlin, however, has continued to deny the allegations.
"You can expect anything from our American friends," Putin said.