Banksy Auction Subject to Russian IP Attacks

Banksy Auction Subject to Russian IP Attacks

Photographed is Fragile/Agile Artwork, Image via The Legacy of War Foundation:

Responding to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Banksy recently put a selection of 50 screen prints up for auction to raise funds for humanitarian efforts. Art collectors and enthusiasts from around the world took great notice, and flocked to the site in hopes of getting their hands on an exclusive piece. 


The Banksy auction culminated with over a million submissions. The foundation, hardly prepared to receive such a high volume of interest, experienced severe strain on their servers.


Furthermore, the volume of submissions wasn’t the only issue. The Legacy of War Foundation released a statement on January 10, 2023. It stated that over, “3,500 submissions were hostile attacks from Russian IP addresses.”


Between these two issues, it has proven difficult for the foundation to take steps towards finalizing transactions. The Banksy Auction estimated they could garner upwards of $300,000 towards humanitarian aid for Ukrainian civilians.


Presently, the Foundation has yet to elaborate on how they determined the IP addresses to be hostile, or elaborate more on their Russian origins.


So What is an IP Attack?

  • Essentially, it involves the creation of internet protocol (IP), to impersonate another computer system. This is to infiltrate and gain access to host servers and domain computers.

Why Would a Hacker do this?

  • There are many reasons hackers execute these types of attacks. For instance, one possible reason for this hack would be to steal personal and confidential information. This is colloquially known as a Man-in-the-middle attack. In addition, they could be attempting to crash the website with a large volume of internet traffic, this is known as Denial of Service (DDos).  


Photographed is Fragile/Agile Artwork, Image via The Legacy of War Foundation:


The Art itself titled Fragile/Agile features a white mouse clawing up the side of a cardboard box. Each claw mark is unique, and individually cut by Banksy himself. The titular word play illustrates the tenacity of the Ukrainian armed forces. 


This force consists of soldiers as well as civilians who stepped out of their lives to defend their homes. The words also reference the agile and robust response of organizations to provide humanitarian aid.


These murals have touched the hearts of Ukrainians. Kyiv’s Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, said in a December Telegram post. “These images are a symbol of our struggle against the enemy.” Adding, “These stories are about the support and solidarity of the entire civilized world with Ukraine.”


Photographed is a Mural titled Ukraine 8, Image Via Artist Banksy Website:

Banksy has long expressed great interest in helping Ukraine. He first made an Instagram post on November 11th 2022, claiming credit for the 7 murals across a war torn Ukraine.


While creating these murals he used an ambulance borrowed from The Legacy of War Foundation. This was how Banksy first made contact with the organization.


In a statement released on the foundation’s website Banksy provides a small anecdote from his travels. While constructing the murals he was caught by an angry babushka.


She then called the police on him for painting on the side of her building. He used the ambulance to flee the scene. Adding, “The least I should do is raise enough money to replace the number plates on the ambulance I hotted up.”


Photographed is Mural titled Ukraine 5, Image Via Artist Banksy Website:

Winter in Ukraine

The money raised couldn’t have been coming at a better time. Winter is in full swing in Ukraine, and amid a full blown war it makes it that much more difficult to survive. Humanitarian aid is imperative to surviving the brutal winter conditions. 


Notably, the money raised will help purchase more emergency vehicles and solar panels for The Legacy of War Foundation. The vehicles are instrumental in helping evacuate families, elderly, and those who are disabled from the front lines of the war.


The CEO of The Legacy Foundation of War, Giles Duley, tells a harrowing story of when he noticed the seasons changing to colder temperatures. On their last run in Donbas they found two of the eight couples rescued dead in their homes. The causes were cold, lack of food, and no medical support.


Photographed is Mural titled Ukraine 4, Image Via Artist Banksy Website:

Furthermore, this is not an isolated incident. Death and tragedy is endemic of the war in Ukraine. According to a news Article from titled “What Ukrainians need to survive the winter.“Approximately 5.9 million people in Ukraine have been displaced. With no where to go.” 


After fleeing their homes many have been forced to take shelter in damaged buildings. Moreover, they have limited access to food, electricity, and heat in freezing winter conditions.


The hacking attempt is making the situation more difficult to navigate.

Numerous other attacks similar to this have happened in Ukraine. Unfortunately, humanitarian aid efforts suffer the most from these attacks.


Civilians are being denied access to potentially life saving efforts. Unquestionably, these tactics are ruthless and heartless in nature. We hope that this situation is resolved with all due haste, and that the individuals and families in dire need can receive aid. 


All together, there exists a present and obvious need to continue providing help to Ukrainians. The end of winter is not yet in sight.


All Images Via Legacy of War Foundation Website, and Artist Banksy Personal Website

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