Russian EV chargers hacked to display crude jab at Putin

Hacked EV charger with anti-Putin message
Image: Instagram user Oleg Moskovtsev

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along Russia’s M11 motorway have been hacked to show anti-Putin and pro-Ukraine messages by a Ukrainian company that provided parts for the chargers, according to a Facebook post by Russian energy company Rosseti. 

This morning, Vice reports, posts began to appear on social media showing the chargers were disabled and programmed to display pro-Ukrainian messages, including “Glory to Ukraine” and “Putin is a dickhead”.

AutoEnterprise’s Facebook page re-posted a video taken by an Instagram user from the M11 motorway showing the disabled chargers. The chargers show an error message reading in English “CALL SERVICE NO PLUGS AVAILABLE” before new screens show additional messages in Russian: “GLORY TO UKRAINE / GLORY TO THE HEROES / PUTIN IS A DICKHEAD / DEATH TO THE ENEMY.”

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The phrase translated as “Putin is a dickhead” became a popular slogan in Ukraine following the 2014 Russian invasion, particularly among soccer fans in Kharkiv.  

It is not clear how many chargers are deactivated, for how long they were displaying anti-Putin messages, or for how long the chargers will be unavailable. In its statement, Rosseti said the chargers were being isolated from the rest of the grid network and would be online again soon. 

Hacking group Anonymous has also launched an attack on the Belarusian government websites amid President Alexander Lukashenko’s continued support of Vladimir Putin.

Lukashenko believes that the West is ‘pushing Russia into World War Three’ because of the sanctions they are imposing on the country. The close Putin ally has allowed Russia to place nuclear weapons on its territory after a referendum on February 27.

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