Hackers have changed the call sign of Vladimir Putin's superyacht Graceful to FCKPTN on a few yachts tracing websites and its current maritime position is marked as 'hell.'
Vladimir Putin's luxury yacht had the call sign UBGV8, according to Fleet Mon. Bloomberg reporter Ryan Gallagher said in a tweet that it was an act of an offshoot group from the hackers Anonymous known as The Anon Leaks.
Automatic Identification System Manipulated
Gallagher also stressed that he was told by the group that they did it by manipulating the maritime 'Automatic Identification System,' which is used to track ship locations.
The hackers also conveyed to him that they wanted to put the yacht in the scope of sanction packages as well as 'put a little smile on some faces for a short period in these dark times.'
Superyacht Left Germany over Looming Sanctions
The superyacht had left Germany in early February without completing scheduled repair as tensions escalated over Russia's troop deployment along the Ukraine border and mounting speculations over possible sanctions.
According to Gallagher, Putin reportedly has a $97 million luxury yacht called "Graceful". On Saturday, a group of Anonymous hackers figured out a way to mess with maritime traffic data. The hackers made it look like the yacht had crashed into Ukraine's Snake Island and also changed its destination to hell.
It came after the international hacking collective Anonymous last week staged cyberattacks against Russia's government entities and corporations in the wake of Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.
The hacker group announced in a tweet on Thursday that it is involved in operations against Russia. "We want the Russian people to understand that we know it's hard for them to speak out against their dictator for fear of reprisals."
Following the announcement of the cyberattack by the group, a number of the Russian organization's websites, funded by the government, became the target of widespread denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
RT news site, websites for the Kremlin and the State Duma lower house of parliament were also intermittently unavailable on Thursday, emboldening a belief that it could have been caused by DDoS attacks.
However, the hacker group had also maintained that it wants peace in the world and a future for all of humanity. "So, while people around the globe smash your internet providers to bits, understand that it's entirely directed at the actions of the Russian government and Putin," said the group.