Russian Cyberattack on Ukrainian TV Channels BlockedUkraine Fights Russian Disinformation Perpetuated by Hacking and Social Media
The Ukrainian government says it is thwarting multiple misinformation campaigns perpetrated by Russia through cyberattacks against local broadcasters and via social media channels.
Most recently, Ukraine's domestic intelligence agency says it blocked Russian attempts on the eve of a Tuesday public holiday to gain access to Ukrainian TV channels' live video stream and news feeds.
The Secret Service of Ukraine says the attempts were made ahead of Constitution Day celebrations, when several TV channels ran a national telethon promoting democracy.
"Cyberattacks are part of Russia's purposeful efforts to influence Ukrainian information space, spread fakes and wage a hybrid war," the SSU says.
An apparent Russian attack earlier this month interrupted a World Cup 2022 qualifier soccer game between Wales and Ukraine broadcast on Ukrainian streaming channel OLL.tv.
Unauthorized access to the broadcaster's content delivery network servers enabled attackers to reroute its traffic to a Russian propaganda channel, a state intelligence service said at the time (see: Russian Cyberattack Hits Wales-Ukraine Football Broadcast).
Dismantling Social Media Propaganda
The Secret Service of Ukraine says it's also flagging hundreds of YouTube channels used to perpetuate "stupid fakes about 'biolabs' and 'radio-controlled geese'" - references to debunked conspiracy theories pushed by Russian propagandists.
Google-owned YouTube remains popular and accessible in Russia, unlike American social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, which are blocked by Russian internet service providers.
The service takes credit for successfully asking YouTube to block nearly 500 pro-Russian YouTube channels with a cumulative audience of more than 15 million subscribers. YouTube did not respond to an Information Security Media Group inquiry.
The state agency also says it's successfully flagged 1,529 Telegram channels and bots, 426 Instagram accounts, 93 Facebook accounts and 1,050 TikTok accounts.