Several pro-Fidesz websites were apparently hacked by Monday morning. At first, it could be read on the pages that they deceive people by only spreading government propaganda. Later, these sites became unavailable. The group thought to be behind the attack justified the assault with the Hungarian government’s supposed friendly stance towards Russia.
This website is part of the government’s propaganda media. We brought you the truth. [We demand] independent press instead of propaganda!”,
read the message posted by the hackers on the websites. In addition, two videos were listed depicting pro-government media’s controversial working methods, and it was also claimed that dozens of promises made by opposition candidate Péter Márki-Zay have already been fulfilled.
As of the writing of his article, the online version of these sites were affected:
- tabloid 888.hu
- weekly Figyelő
- the site of Mediaworks, an umbrella company overseeing several pro-government media outlets
- sports news Nemzeti Sport
- weekly Mandiner
- agricultural-themed outlet Szabad föld
Later, they all became unavailable. Other outlets such as the public media, Magyar Nemzet, Pesti Srácok, or the regional dailies are still working.
Attackers claimed to be members of the Anonymous group, although it is yet to be known whether the group was indeed behind the hacks. According to RTL Klub, hackers made their intentions clear on Sunday, arguing:
“(…) We believe that in this situation the only moral thing to do is to stop any support for Vladimir Putin’s war. Any company or country that continues to support Russia is supporting its war crimes and the killing of innocent civilians in Ukraine. (…)
Meanwhile, the Hungarian government and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán continue to act like the Kremlin’s Trojan horse in Europe, blocking any action in support of the Ukrainian people and sanctions against Russia. You must decide for yourselves who you stand with. Do not hesitate whether to impose sanctions or not. Do not hesitate whether or not to stop trading with Russia. There is no time to hesitate. (…)
FactThe Orbán government has repeatedly denied that they are on Russia’s side in the conflict. According to PM Orbán’s explanation, Hungarian policies are friendly neither to Ukraine nor to Russia, but take the Hungarian nation’s interest as its priority. The Prime Minister also said on Sunday that Hungary is providing Ukraine all the aid it could, but the government refuses to do anything that would “ruin the community of the nation.” Orbán said Ukraine has an interest in involving “as many countries as possible” in the war, “so we must absolutely make clear that we will not take part in the war.” “Our moral responsibility is not to Ukraine but to our own people.”
Justice Minister: The world-famous leftist freedom of the press is being manifested
Reacting to the recent action by the hackers, Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote on Facebook: “The world-famous leftist freedom of the press is being manifested. This morning, several Hungarian right-wing news websites were attacked and made inaccessible simply because they dared to say something different from the international liberal mainstream media.” According to Varga, “It seems we have diverted from the concept of ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’ to the dogma of ‘if you are not with us, we will silence you.'”
Is this what awaits us if the left-wing comes to power on 3 April? The shutdown of websites and harassment of journalists? Has the left-wing hired criminals for the campaign? Will this be included in the OSCE report?”,
the Fidesz politician asked.
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