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2020.01.31 15:02

Coronavirus: hackers post fake story about infected US soldier in Lithuania

updated
BNS2020.01.31 15:02

A Lithuanian news website was hacked on Friday to post a fake story alleging that a US military officer has contracted the coronavirus in Lithuania.

The fake story, made to look like a BNS news report, was visible on Kauno.diena.lt for about ten minutes and was removed before it rose to the top of the page, according to Tadas Širvinskas, the director of the daily Kauno Diena.

Read more: ‘We are watching you’ – British troops in Baltics targeted by Russian psyops

"There is a case of hacking into the content management system," Širvinskas told BNS, adding that experts were still looking at how the website was breached."This is an extraordinary case. We've had similar attempts in the past, but none of them were successful," he added.

Read more: Fake news target NATO exercises; several news websites hacked in Latvia and Lithuania

According to Širvinskas, the report was fairly well written but featured some style details differed from their original content.

Kauno Diena has informed the Lithuanian Armed Forces and also plans to turn to other authorities. This is not the first time that a Lithuanian online news site has been hacked.

The majority of fake news targets NATO, US and German military presence in Lithuania and the Baltics.

"It's not the first such case in Lithuania, and all US troops are well," Laimis Bratikas, from Stratcom at the Lithuanian military, told BNS. "The false information is aimed at discrediting [...] our allies and raising panic" and mistrust among the society, he added.

Read more: Bots on the Ground: Half of Russian tweets on NATO in Baltics and Poland come from bot-networks

Lithuanian intelligence bodies say the biggest threat to Lithuania's cyberspace comes from Russia's intelligence and security services.

Read more: More fake news target NATO’s presence in Lithuania