ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Russia says hackers set off false air raid alerts on TV, radio

Warnings broadcast in Belgorod, Voronezh regions near Ukraine, and annexed Crimea; similar cyberattack triggered sirens last week

An air raid alert is broadcast in Russia, triggered by hackers according to officials, February 28, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An air raid alert is broadcast in Russia, triggered by hackers according to officials, February 28, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

MOSCOW, Russia — Russian authorities said Tuesday that several regional television and radio stations that have recently broadcast air raid alerts had been breached by hackers.

The alerts are common across Ukraine, which is routinely targeted by drone and missile attacks, but the impact of fighting within Russia is limited to regions bordering the conflict.

“As a result of hacking of servers of radio stations and TV channels, in some regions of the country, information about the announcement of an air raid alert was broadcast,” Russia’s emergencies ministry said in a statement.

“This information is false and does not correspond to reality,” it added.

Russian media reported that the alerts had been broadcast in the Belgorod and Voronezh regions bordering Ukraine, near Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

The emergencies ministry said a similar cyberattack last week triggered air raid sirens across Russia.

The hackers targeted only private radio and television stations.

The breaches came shortly after the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in February last year.

Several Russian regions bordering Ukraine have been targeted in attacks that Moscow has blamed on Ukraine.

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