October 7, 2018  |  Updated October 12, 2018

#ElectionWatch: Social Media Hack on Latvian Election Day

By Nika Aleksejeva and Lukas Andriukaitis
Source: @DFRLab via Darugiem.lv and Skaties.lv

During Latvia’s parliamentary election day on October 6, the sound of the Russian national anthem and images of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, the Russian flag, and a Russian soldier appeared when opening the front page of Latvian social network Draugiem.lv. The hacking attack was confirmed by Draugiem.lv spokesperson Janis Palkavnieks.

Latvia has a troubled relationship with its neighbor Russia, leading to fears that the Kremlin might attempt to interfere in Latvia’s election. In particular, Russian-language and pro-Kremlin media regularly report on relations between ethnic Latvians and Russians in a potentially inflammatory way, deepening the potential for social conflict.

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