Ukrainian radio network hacked to display fake news about the president

Fake News about the health of President Zelenskiy reported after the Russian hacker attack

Fake news spread about Zelenskiy being in intensive careHackers breached media network to show false videos about the health of the president

Ukrainian media group TAVR Media confirmed the hacking incident that ended with fake news spreading about the critical health condition of President Zelenskiy.[1] These reports stated that the President is under intensive care. State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine reported that the network operates nine major radio stations in Ukraine.

The cyber attack was carried out on the servers and networks of the radio stations.[2] The official report later stated that information about these health problems and the state of the President of Ukraine are all false. Later, the news reported that the Russian attacker group breached these servers and broadcasting systems to spread the fake message.

President himself has launched a video on social media to show that he is okay and that the other fake news campaign is spread by Russian-linked hackers and has no merit.[3]

So, here I am in my office, and I have never felt as good as now. And the bad news for those behind such fakes is that I am not alone. There are 40 million of us (Ukrainians). And with all due respect to old age, 44 is not (almost) 70.

Hackers capitalizing on the conflict

Hackers have already used this theme in their scam campaigns,[4] hacking incidents, and other cyber attacks. The provenance of the particular intrusion is unknown yet. However, there are many threat actors that have already capitalized on these events affecting the country. Hacking groups taking sites and Russian-linked groups rely on fake news, hacking campaigns affecting humanitarian help provided to victims of war.

The recent reports also show how threat actors rely on the theme in their malicious campaigns. Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine warns people related to government organizations because Ukraine is targeted with particular malicious campaigns carrying AgentTesla malware.[5] The campaign carries out the attack using malicious document attachments with macros.

Deepfakes used to promote fake news

Facebook had to remove deepfakes content that was supposed to be convincing versions of photos and videos with Zelenskiy. These videos showed the President asking Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms and surrender. These campaigns were released shortly after the start of the invasion.

First, videos were released using the hacked Ukraine 24 website and then got spread to other compromised news sites. The resident reacted to these deepfakes spreading around online with his own video where he stated that the only suggestion to lay down their arms from him should go to the Russian military.

Go home. Because we're home. We are defending our land, our children, and our families.

Various cybersecurity agencies from the world and Ukraine itself warn about the possibility that these hackers also take sides and that Russian-state-sponsored attacker groups will continue their campaigns and cyber attacks against the country.

Various Ukrainian officials, military personnel, and humanitarian organizations have been targeted by these attacks and campaigns, including fake videos showing Ukrainian soldiers surrendering to the Russian army. Ukrainian hacker groups also try to show their side and hack Russian TV networks to show messages about the real side of the war because many media channels in Russia are filled with government propaganda.

As for the news about the situation and cybersecurity, users should rely on official sources, world news, independent channels, and officials on media or news sites. There are many people without these hackers that want to profit from the war and political themes.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

Jake Doevan is one of News Editors for He graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College , Communication and Journalism studies.

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