March 12, 2023

Airwaves Hacked, Again


Airwaves Hacked, Again
TV monitor during the hack displaying a map of Russia and Crimea with the message, "Everyone, take cover right away!" Agentstvo Mosckva, Telegram.

On March 9, hackers targeted radio and TV stations in Moscow and Yekaterinburg and played fake air raid signals. Such attacks have become more frequent in Russia, revealing a potential vulnerability on the public airwaves. 

Social media users began posting videos of a broadcast warning about a radiation hazard, urging viewers to get personal protective equipment. The transmission also showed a map of Russia, with Crimea included, progressively turning red. At the end of the message, screens displayed a nuclear danger symbol. The Ministries of Emergency Situations in both cities have since confirmed the airwaves were hacked. The affiliation of the hackers of the latest attack is still unknown.

Similar attacks have appeared more frequently on the news in recent days. On February 22, radio stations on three oblasts played messages warning of rocket attacks. Then, the Ukrainian anthem and a statement from Ukraine's chief of military intelligence were played on Crimean airwaves the day before the anniversary of the war. On February 28, fifteen regions broadcast rocket attack alerts. Since the previous attack, television, which is regularly viewed by two out of three Russians, has become another target for hackers.

Meanwhile, what feels like science fiction in Russia is an everyday reality in Ukraine, as shown in this video by Meduza

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