Draugiem.lv social network hacked with pro-Russia message

Take note – story published 5 years ago

On October 6, the day of Latvia's parliamentary elections, the draugiem.lv social network was hacked, with the front page supplanted by a pro-Russia message, reported LETA.

The front page was replaced by a Russian flag and a message saying, "Fellow Latvians, this concerns you. The Russian border has no limits!"

LSM's Latvian-language service contacted the Security Police, which said it had been informed about the hack but has no further details at present.

Draugiem Group representative Jānis Palkavnieks told LSM's English-language service:

"We had an attack on the login page. They put a video and audio file there. Now we want to be sure this is the only thing that was attacked."

The website's front page was changed, with the Russian anthem blasting upon opening the website and photos of army men, Vladimir Putin and other featured heavily. Consequently Draugiem took the site offline for several hours, though it is now back online and investigations continue.

Whether the messages inserted onto the website were by real Russian nationalists or other people wishing to give that impression remains to be ascertained.

The company has contacted the CERT.lv cyber-defense institution and informed the Security Police about the incident. At present it was not clear whether the attack originated inside or outside Latvia, Palkavnieks told LSM.

Draugiem is the ninth most popular website in Latvia, according to Gemius data for August,. It is unusual in that it is a local social network that has successfully carried on business despite the rise to global dominance of Facebook, Twitter and other international social networks.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics commented on the incident, saying he was confident Latvia could cope with any attempts to interfere with the election.


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