Attack on media disinformation campaign related to the Ukraine crisis
By Pascal Cronauer, Regional Director CEMEA at LogPoint
Pascal Cronauer, Regional Director for EMEA at LogPoint
The cyber attacks on websites and social media channels of Funke Mediengruppe and other newspaper publishing houses last week are probably part of a disinformation campaign in connection with the Ukraine crisis.
The attacks are a further escalation of Russia’s long-standing efforts to disrupt freedom of expression and distort facts. In this case, the attackers impede public access to information and disrupt public discussion on social media with DDoS attacks and bots. Funke is not one of the largest publishers, but she reports extensively on the Ukraine crisis, which apparently makes her a target. Other and larger publishers should take this as a warning about the risk the media is facing – and to some extent has been for years, as the concept of using bots to distort debate on social media is far from new.
Publishing companies must be aware of the risk and their responsibility to protect themselves from cyber attacks. Not only to protect your business model, but also to protect your real purpose. The dissemination of credible, reliable information about world events is the reason for the existence of the media, especially in times of misinformation and fake news. Media companies need to understand the threat situation, remain vigilant and strengthen their cyber defenses to stay safe, maintain their credibility and be able to report on news.