NEW YORK — Late last month a media advocacy group sounded the alarm over a hacking campaign aimed at driving independent Hungarian media outlets off the internet.
They almost immediately became one the hackers’ latest victims.
The Vienna-based International Press Institute said Thursday that it had spent the past couple of weeks battling a digital denial of service operation that drove it offline for at least three days and is still ongoing.
“This ongoing cyberattack is the most brazen and direct attack on IPI’s online infrastructure in our organization’s history,” the group said in a statement. “It reflects a wider and deeply alarming pattern of the abuse of digital tools by malicious actors to attack and silence critical journalists and those who work to defend them.”
The Institute said that the hack “appears to be in retaliation” for its advocacy work in Hungary, where more than 40 media websites have been hit by denials of service over the past few months. Denial of service, which works by overwhelming servers with rogue web traffic, can effectively knock websites offline, making it “form of digital censorship,” the Institute said.
People are also reading…
The Institute has since engaged digital defense firm Cloudflare Inc. to help keep its site online, it said. It called on Hungarian authorities to identify and hold the hackers responsible to account.
Hungarian authorities did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the hacking campaign.
Additional reporting by Krisztina Than.