Hacking Attack Triggers False Missile Alert in Russia’s Regional Broadcasters

Dave Harvard
Reading time: 2 minutes

A recent hacking attack caused some regional broadcasters in Russia to issue a false warning urging people to seek shelter from an incoming missile attack, according to the country’s emergencies ministry.

The attack sent a message that an air alert had been issued in several regions of the country. However, the ministry quickly dismissed this as fake news and affirmed that the situation was under control.

The incident reportedly occurred due to the hacking of servers of radio stations and TV channels in some parts of the country, including the annexed Crimea region. Images shared on social media showed a picture of a person running for cover from incoming missiles and a message reading, “Everybody to the shelter, now.”

Some local officials have blamed Ukraine for the incident, although there has been no official comment from Kyiv. Meanwhile, Gazprom Media, which operates several regional TV stations, has stated that its infrastructure was attacked, citing that such incidents have become commonplace.

This comes after several radio stations issued similar warnings last week, and websites run by Russia’s state TV conglomerate went down during President Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address on Feb. 21, which state media attributed to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

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