Hackers targeted Russian television channels’ program names right before Vladimir Putin’s speech on Victory Day to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union in WWII.
Victory Day event is celebrated to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union in WWII. However, this time a surprise was in store for Russians watching the Victory Day coverage. Someone hacked various Russian channels’ Victory Day coverage schedule and posted anti-war and pro-Ukrainian messages.
Anti-War Message Appears Ahead of Putin’s Address to Nation
As people were waiting to hear the address of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday morning, local television channels’ schedule was suddenly altered to display this message:
“The blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of murdered children is on your hands. TV and the authorities are lying. No to war.”
BBC Monitoring’s senior digital journalist Francis Scarr also tweeted about this incident, explaining that the online Russian TV schedule page got hacked. Every program’s name was changed to the same message.
Which channels were Affected?
The anti-war call appeared when Russians were waiting to watch the annual Victory Day military parade on Red Square, followed by an address by Putin. The hacking affected online viewers of channels transmitted by MTS mobile operators, Rostelecom, NTV Plus, and Wink, while the incident impacted Russians across the country.
As per BBC, all major Russian channels, including NTV-Plus, Rossiya, and Channel One, were affected, while The Washington Post claims that the same message appeared on other platforms, including Yandex and Ru Tube. Furthermore, the hack also impacted children’s TV channels and the Russian defense ministry’s station, Zvezda.
How did the Hacking happen?
According to Reuters, it isn’t currently clear how the messages appeared on the live page. However, this isn’t the first time Russian television channels have been hacked. In March 2022, as reported by Hackread.com, the Anonymous hacktivist collective hacked into Russian state television to broadcast gruesome war footage from Ukraine.
“A cyberattack was carried out on Russian TV broadcasting channels, because of which subscribers could have extremist inscriptions in the broadcast grid. Now our IT specialists are promptly eliminating the consequences of a hack so that subscribers can receive services and watch TV programs and movies as quickly as possible,” MTS representative in Siberia stated.
Ahead of Vladimir Putin’s address, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky released a video to commemorate the Victory Day with this statement:
“We won then. We will win now, too! And Khreshchatyk will see the parade of victory – the victory of Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine!”
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