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Turkish Cyberattack Targets Russian Minister

A social network account belonging to Russia's communications minister has been blocked briefly by hackers identifying themselves as a Turkish activist group.

Minister Nikolai Nikiforov's Instagram account was blocked by "The Bortecine Cyber Team" hackers, according to screenshots of the account, published by Russian and Turkish media on January 3.

A warplane, Turkish flags, and a portrait of Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were paraded on the account.

Instagram, where users post their pictures and videos, later restored Nikiforov's account and his profile photo. However, the minister complained Instagram was slow to respond, taking more than nine hours to tackle the problem.

Ties between Russia and Turkey have been strained since a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border in November.

In late December, Turkish media suggested Russian hackers could have been behind recent cyberattacks on Turkish Internet servers handling more than 300,000 websites.

On December 25, Turkish banks reported sporadic disruption to credit card transactions.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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