Latvian TV Channels Hacked to Broadcast Russian Victory Day Parade

Confused Latvians woke up to the Russian Victory Day parade on their TVs! Hackers targeted a content delivery network to manipulate broadcasts exposing media supply chain vulnerabilities.

Imagine turning on your TV for the morning news and seeing a military parade of another country instead! That’s what happened in Latvia on May 9th, 2024, a special day in Russia to celebrate winning World War 2.

On Thursday, a pro-Russian group called “Russian Order is One (Русский Порядок Един)” hacked into the system and switched the channels to show the Russian Victory Day parade instead of Latvian programs. It’s like someone took over the TV station but from a computer!

Latvian TV Channels Hacked to Broadcast Russian Victory Day Parade
The Russian Order is One hacker group on Telegram (Image translated through AI – Credit:

According to Ivars Abolinš, chairman of the National Electronic Mass Media Council, one of Latvia’s main communications operators that handles several television channels, Balticom, experienced a cyberattack, losing control of retransmissions.

However, Latvian officials confirmed that the hackers didn’t directly target Balticom infrastructure, instead, they attacked an interactive TV server in Bulgaria, retransmitting changed content of a May 9th military parade outside the Kremlin in Moscow. However, the live footage was only seen by around 5% of Balticom’s subscribers., an Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution, is investigating the incident with Balticom, citing that it is most likely part of Russia’s hybrid war and such provocations are likely to continue in the future. However, it remains unclear how the hackers breached the Bulgarian servers.

For your information, this is the second such incident in the past few weeks where live TV transmissions were hacked. On April 17th, Russian artists’ songs and propaganda clips were manipulated during a live broadcast of the Ukrainian channel Freedom on the Tet platform, which lasted for 20 minutes.

This incident shows threat actors’ potential to manipulate sensitive events and spread false information. The good news is that Latvia is working hard to find the hackers and make sure this doesn’t happen again. They’re also looking at ways to improve security for companies that help deliver TV shows. This will make it harder for hackers to mess with what we watch.

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