Info@NationalCyberSecurity
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Hackers damage Bulgarian fact-checking site fighting Russian disinformation – EURACTIV.com | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Bulgaria’s most prominent fact-checking platform, Factcheck.bg, known for countering Russian disinformation, was subject to a cyber attack over the weekend, but there is currently no information on who is behind it, the management of the site told Euractiv.bg.

The attack led to the deletion of numerous posts on Factcheck.bg, Facebook and also affected the posts of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ), which manages the platform.

“Problems with the sharing continued until the evening of September 22, and from that moment, the ability to share links to the pages of AEJ – Bulgaria, Scoolmedia.com and Media Lab began to be gradually restored on Facebook,” the platform told Euractiv.

Among the posts taken down from Facebook are AEJ positions related to the clashes of the chairman of the pro-Russian radical party “Vazrazhdane” Kostadin Kostadinov with independent liberal media in Bulgaria, as well as viral fact-check posts directed against the pro-Russian disinformation campaigns on Facebook.

On Thursday Morning, Facebook started automatically removing posts by AEJ – Bulgaria, the fact-checking platform Factcheck.bg, and sCoolmedia.com – a national platform for student journalism, and the training platform Media Lab.

According to the notifications received, the reasons for taking down the posts were related to cyber security, privacy policy or spam.

A scan of the sites revealed the presence of a suspicious plugin for WordPress, which is the platform used by the attacked sites. “At the moment, it cannot be established whether it is a simple attack with malicious software or a targeted one that would be related to the activities of Factcheck.bg and AEJ – Bulgaria”, the Association of European Journalists commented.

Meta’s official position on the issue and whether it is related to similar problems that have happened to users of the platform in other parts of the world is yet to be clarified.

During the attack, Facebook users reported that a video showing the protesting grain farmers kicking out Kostadin Kostadinov, who was trying to talk to them, was taken down.

Reports have been received that content has been taken from or linked to other fact-checking sites such as “AFP Check”.

Some Facebook users report that they can’t even see exactly which of their posts have been taken down. They only get a message that they don’t meet community standards. The attack affected current posts as well as those published months ago.

(Krassen Nikolov | Euractiv.bg)

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