Hackers build tool to let you text random Russians about the war in Ukraine

A hacking group has created a website that allows you to send texts, WhatsApp messages and emails to random people in Russia – in the hope of giving Russian citizens access to more information about the conflict in Ukraine.

The tool, hosted at a site called 1920.in, was created by hacker group Squad303.

Following a signal boost from the hacktivist group Anonymous, more than seven million texts have now been sent since the tool first launched, or around 5 percent of the population of Russia.

Users can choose a random Russian phone number and then copy a message in Russian to them. One of the messages reads: “Dear Russians, your media is being censored.

“The Kremlin is lying. Find out the truth about Ukraine on the free internet and in the Telegram app. Time to overthrow dictator Putin!”

The response has been so overwhelming that the Russian government is reportedly blocking some of the pre-written messages word-for-word from Russian phones.

In a Twitter update today, Squad303 said: "We have the direct evidence that YOU're doing great job! The Kremlin is afraid of YOU! The Russian gov has just implemented full-text censorship of pre-defined messages that you sent from http://1920.in. But no worries! We have uploaded new ones! Don't stop!"

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On the website, Squad303 explain their motivation for building the tool. It says: "Nearly 150 million Russians do not know the truth about the causes or course of the war in Ukraine. It is fed with the lies of the Kremlin propaganda. There is no free media in Russia and the internet is censored.

"It is possible for each of us to convey a direct message to the inhabitants of this enslaved country."

Since invading Ukraine, the Kremlin has clamped down on almost all independent media in Russia, forcing major TV stations to close and cracking down on anti-war protests.

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