Balticom's TV channels temporarily hacked by Russian propaganda

Due to a cyber attack, the Kremlin's propaganda content was temporarily seen on television channels broadcast by the communications operator Balticom, LETA reported May 9.

As Ivars Āboliņš, chairman of the National Electronic Mass Media Council, said on social networks, Balticom experienced a cyber attack this morning, resulting in the company losing control of television retransmissions.

During the cyber attack, Russia's propaganda content - a May 9 parade outside the Kremlin in Moscow - was seen on-air on all Balticom's rebroadcast television programs.

According to NEPLP, Balticom operator's own infrastructure is not compromised. The cyber attack took place on a content delivery partner outside Latvia, and Balticom retransmitted this changed content. 

Representatives of Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution told LETA that “” is investigating the incident in cooperation with Balticom, and information currently available indicates that Balticom operator's infrastructure has not been compromised.

The attack took place on a content delivery partner outside Latvia, and Balticom retransmitted this content.

Representatives of “” emphasized that “this is not a cyber attack targeting Latvian infrastructure, but is part of the Russian hybrid war, and such provocations are likely to continue in the future and must be ready.”

Information provided later shows that the cyber-attack occurred on Balticom's interactive TV server, which is based in Bulgaria.

However, other types of television services are unaffected and have been seen by around 5% of subscribers. 

"This incident is related to hybrid warfare, which is not only directed against us, but Balticom in this particular case is simply a tool. All our IT specialists are currently working on solving the problem. We have contacted the Cert service, the State Security Service and the administration of the NEPLP have also been involved very quickly," said Anastasija Muizniece, CEO of Balticom. 

" is investigating the incident and is still awaiting information from the host of the Balticom server. "This supplier provides this IP television service to several operators in other countries. And now they are investigating and checking what happened and how it was hacked," explained expert Gints Mālkalnietis.

This is the second case in a short time when Russian propaganda content comes to Latvian viewers as a result of a cyber attack. On April 17, songs and propaganda clips from Russian artists were played on the “Tet” platform during a live broadcast of the Ukrainian channel Freedom for 20 minutes. Tet explained that this signal from Freedom was received from the satellite.

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