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Statement from the EDMO Taskforce about cybersecurity

On March 15, the European Digital Media Observatory website, along with other EDMO hub websites, were unavailable. It is likely that this was the result of malicious activities.

Cyberattacks including a disinformation component, which can mean targeting specifically organisations working on the topic or ‘hack and leak operations’, have increased in the past years.

In the light of these events, the EDMO taskforce on the war in Ukraine would like all stakeholders engaged in countering disinformation to be aware of this threat, and, if possible, increase their cyber protection protocols. Since the beginning of March 2022, at least eight significant cyberattacks linked to the Ukraine war and targeting infrastructure, NGOs or media have been listed by the Cyberpeace institute.

The latest cyberattack happened on 16 March on the Ukraine 24 TV channel where a news ticker claimed that the Ukrainian president was calling Ukrainians to surrender. This false information was the result of hacking the media organisation’s infrastructure.

Online resources as well as assistance are available in this field. If you experience any issue, we recommend making contact as soon as possible with cybersecurity experts. At the same time, we suggest to protect both your systems as well as the security of your sources. Also, do consider to adapt your online usage patterns accordingly: form using two-factor authentication to secure browsing.

The EDMO Taskforce on disinformation about the war in Ukraine

Alexandre Alaphilippe; Tommaso Canetta; Carlos Hernández- Echevarría; Jochen Spangenberg; Pawel Terpilowski; Claire Wardle