Russian authorities claim Ukraine hackers are behind fake missile strike alerts

Millions of Russians in almost a dozen cities throughout the country were greeted Wednesday morning by radio alerts, text messages, and sirens warning of an air raid or missile strikes that never occurred. The warnings were later blamed on hackers.

According to reports from news operations in Russia, a woman’s voice was broadcast through a number of radio stations – including Relax FM, Avatoradio, Yumor FM, and Comedy Radio – saying, “Attention, an air raid warning is being announced. Go to the shelter immediately. Attention, Attention, threat of a missile strike.”

The broadcasts were played in at least 10 cities – Pyatigorsk, Tyumen, Voronezh, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Magnitogorsk, Stary Oskol, Ufa, and Novouralsk.

Local officials in some of the cities, including in the Belgorod and Kurgan regions, quickly announced that the alerts were fake and the country’s Ministry of Emergency Situations later accused unidentified miscreants of initiating the broadcasts.

“As a result of a hacker attack on the servers of some commercial radio stations in some regions of the country, information was broadcast about an alleged announcement of an air raid warning and a threat of a missile strike,” the Ministry said in a statement, according to RIA Novosti, the Russian state-owned news agency.

The Ministry said the broadcasts and text messages were the result of an attack on a a satellite operator’s infrastructure and that “an unauthorized tie-in is going on the air. The alarm signals transmitted on the air do not correspond [to] reality.”

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