18 April 2024, by Emily Proctor

Russian propaganda has been shown on a Dutch children’s TV channel for the second time in less than a fortnight. Experts suggest that the hacking was carried out by the Russian government as the operations appear to have been carried out by professionals, according to NOS. 

Russian propaganda played on BabyTV for 15 minutes

The channel in question, BabyTV, is a Disney channel for children provided by Ziggo in the Netherlands, and was hacked for a period of around 15 minutes on the afternoon of April 17. The channel’s normal programming of shows appropriate for babies and toddlers under the age of three was replaced by footage of war and Russian music videos for the 15-minute period. 

“It is absolutely not the intention that children and babies are exposed to these types of images. We therefore immediately contacted Disney and asked them to investigate how these types of images could appear on BabyTV. As a precaution, we have taken BabyTV off air until further notice,” Ziggo said in a statement. 

It is unclear how the hackers managed to access the channel

The channel was hacked for the first time on April 6, when unknown actors managed to hack Eutelsat, a French satellite operator. This time, it is not yet clear how hackers managed to access the channel itself. Disney is responsible for the satellite distribution of the channel. 

It is also still unclear who orchestrated the attack on the children’s TV channel. According to experts, the professionalism of the attack points to a state actor being behind them, and given that a number of high-profile attacks on Dutch companies have already been carried out by Russian actors since the start of the war in Ukraine, cybersecurity professionals are already pointing the finger at the Russian government. However, these accusations are yet to be confirmed.

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