Which company is being targeted by Anonymous? See their response

In addition to the Russian entity, Anonymous said it was now targeting some Western companies.

Jacob Porziki | Nurfoto | Nurfoto | Getty Images

The “hacktivist” group, known as Anonymous, says the “cyber war” against Russia has a new goal – Western businesses that are still doing business there.

A post from March 21 A Twitter account called ourYourAnonTV said: “We call on all organizations operating in Russia to pay taxes on the Kremlin’s criminal regime budget: get out of Russia!”

The tweet, which has been liked more than 23,000 times, gave companies 48 hours to comply.

Threats, after that Echoed on other anonymous-affiliated Twitter accountsIncludes a photo with the logos of about 40 companies, including family names such as Burger King, Subway and General Mill.

The account later tagged more companies in the post, apparently putting them on notice that they too could be targeted soon.

Wrongly targeted?

CNBC has contacted the companies mentioned in this story for comment. Most of the responses reflect the company’s published press releases, which are linked throughout the story, followed by posts.

Tire firms Bridgestone and Dunkin said that by the time they were targeted by the anonymous, they had already publicly announced that they were removing business from Russia.

Both companies responded directly to Anonymous on Twitter. Bridgestone’s answer is a link Press release, and Dunkin ‘link Media broadcasting Its a decision, both of which preceded the anonymous’ post.

Twitter users also noted that other companies, such as Citrix, have already announced similar measures. A blog post on Citrix’s website states: “Unfortunately, we see a lot of misreporting on social and traditional media about the Citrix operation in Russia.”

Three target oil sector services companies – Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger – have already announced their Russian business activities. The statements follow an article in the Washington Post urging readers to stop investing in companies considered “Putin’s war financing.”

Intentional or ‘war fog?’

Cyber ​​attacks are “dangerous in the fog of war,” said Marian Bailey, a cybersecurity partner at the consulting firm Guidehouse and a former cybersecurity executive at the US National Security Agency.

“The return of a cyber strike may be directed to the wrong place,” he said.

However, it is also possible that Anonymous was not affected by some of the company’s commitments. Some companies, including Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger – failed to score well. A business listing compiled by the Yale School of Management. The list lists about 500 companies that have stopped or continued operating in Russia, given their school-style letter grades.

Significantly, Bridgestone’s decision received an “A” on Yale’s list and Dunkin received a “B”.

The second batch of the targeted company

Many of the companies that got “Fs” on Yale’s list have appeared in one The second anonymous Twitter post published March 24. This post targets a list of new – and seemingly updated – companies, including Emirates Airlines, French garden retailer Leroy Merlin, and essential oil company Young Living.

Several companies caught up in the anonymous crosshairs soon announced that they were severing ties with Russia, including hashtags for anonymous and Yale in a Twitter announcement by Canadian oil field services company Calfrack Well Services and sanitary products maker Gabriet Group.

French sports goods company Decathlon announced this week that it is also closing stores in Russia. But Anonymous has already claimed credit for shutting down the Russian website, along with the sites of Leroy Merlin and the French supermarket company Auchan.

Jeremiah Fowler, co-founder of cybersecurity company Security Discovery, said his research showed that Anonymous had successfully hacked a database of Leroy Merlin.

“I am just sure [Anonymous] It has been found, “he said, adding that the message and the reference were collectively left inside the information.

Anonymous also claimed it last week Swiss Food and Beverage Corporation Nestle hacks another targeted company’s database. However, Nestl told CNBC that the allegations were “baseless.” Design and tech website Gizmodo reported that Nestl জানিয়ে reported that it had accidentally leaked its own information in February.

Nestl announces it is reducing its activities in Russia, but rejects measures as inadequate At least one online anonymous account.

Other forces in the game

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Indeed, other forces were also at play, including online calls to boycott some target corporations in recent weeks.

Workers hold a protest against Coach Industries on June 5, 2014 in New York City. The Twitter account @YourAnonTV had American aggregate among the few companies targeted by both posts. The company also received an “F” on Yale’s list for failing to withdraw business activities from Russia.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Another complication: the franchise

Unlike McDonald’s – which owns about 84% of its outlets in Russia – companies like Burger King, Subway and Papa Johns often operate there through franchise agreements. Burger King said it had asked its franchise’s main operator to suspend restaurant operations in Russia, but “they have refused.”

Alexander Saiganov Sopa | Lightrocket | Getty Images

The Force Majors clause – which allows the parties to cancel a contract for situations such as natural disasters or terrorism – does not apply here, Intel said. There are also no clauses covering the sanctions, which, when present, usually apply only if the parties to the agreement approve, not in the country where they are located.

Antel says franchisors probably have no legal right to close franchises in Russia. But he said he expects franchisors to do so for a variety of reasons: making ethical decisions, reducing reputation damage and avoiding the cost of complying with sanctions, especially since Russia is “not a big percentage of sales” for most of these companies.

“Concerns about hackers and data security … could be a good reason,” he said.

He suspects the franchisors will negotiate a “pain-sharing” agreement, either by agreeing to suspend the operation temporarily, or by paying a settlement fee to end the relationship, he said.

He said he had negotiated a deal – in the hundreds – where a Russian hotel owner sought contractual rights if an international event harmed his larger business interests.

“God, we had to fight for it,” Antel said.

However, he said he now hopes contract-based exit options will be more common in the future.

Elizabeth Morrone

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