Ukrainian, Latvian TV Hijacked to Broadcast Russian Celebrations

At least 15 television channels were interrupted in Ukraine alone, which, reportedly, is not out of the norm in this "information war."

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 13, 2024

1 Min Read
A hooded figure with a laptop in front of a coded background in the colors of the Russian flag
Source: Trambler58 via Shutterstock

A Ukrainian agency in charge of television and radio broadcasting reported that Russian hackers hijacked Ukrainian television channels on May 9 to air a Victory Day parade honoring the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The broadcasting agency, Nacrada, said that at least 15 TV channels were interrupted and replaced with the Russian footage. The hackers disrupted the Astra communication satellites owned and operated by SES, a Luxembourg-based company, which said that these kinds of interventions happen frequently and usually point back to Russia.

Ukraine recommends that TV broadcasters use "alternative methods" to receive their signals and respond to the interventions quickly.

"This is another stage of the information war against Ukraine when Ukrainian media and consumers of information become the direct object of aggression," Nacrada said.

The agency wasn't the only victim of Russia's attacks on May 9, however. Balticom, a Latvian television network, was also hijacked to air the Moscow parade. Though the broadcasting network's infrastructure was not compromised, according to Latvia's National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), a cyberattack targeted its interactive TV server.

According to Latvia's computer emergency response team, "[This] is part of the Russian hybrid war, and such provocations are likely to continue in the future."

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Dark Reading Staff

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