Did Russian hackers force Australian TV station off the air for showing Putin investigation?


An Australian TV station was forced to cancel much of its live programming on Sunday due to an ‘unprecedented cyber attack’.  

Security experts claim that ‘Russian hackers’ sought sought to stop Monday’s episode of Under Investigation from going to air on Channel Nine.

Another source who spoke on condition of anonymity told ABC News that Nine management told staff a ‘malicious’ cyber attack was the suspected cause. 

The network said the episode will ‘expose Vladimir Putin’s deadly campaign of chemical assassination being waged against his enemies’ in the West.

Hosted by Liz Hayes, the broadcast would also reveal ‘Russia’s ongoing development of banned poisons and nerve agents in secret labs’. 

Russia’s relations with Western governments are at their lowest since the Cold War, marred by allegations of election interference and sweeping cyberattacks. 

TVBlackbox, a news website, published a statement from the network, which was issued to staff at Nine, and media, confirming a cyber attack. 

In the statement, Nine representatives said they have ‘contingencies’ in place to ensure the NRL match and news bulletins will air. 

TV Blackbox reports that the technical glitches are believed by security experts to have been orchestrated by 'Russian hackers' who sought to stop Monday's episode of Under Investigation which focuses on Russian president Vladimir Putin, from going to air. Pictured: Host Liz Hayes

TV Blackbox reports that the technical glitches are believed by security experts to have been orchestrated by ‘Russian hackers’ who sought to stop Monday’s episode of Under Investigation which focuses on Russian president Vladimir Putin, from going to air. Pictured: Host Liz Hayes

Security experts claim that 'Russian hackers' sought sought to stop Monday's episode of Under Investigation from going to air on Channel Nine. The network said the episode will 'expose Vladimir Putin's deadly campaign of chemical assassination'

Security experts claim that ‘Russian hackers’ sought sought to stop Monday’s episode of Under Investigation from going to air on Channel Nine. The network said the episode will ‘expose Vladimir Putin’s deadly campaign of chemical assassination’

‘We wish to inform you there has been a cyber attack on our systems which has disrupted live broadcasts out of Nine Sydney (1 Denison),’ it said.

‘As a result, we were unable to get Weekend Today to air this morning however, have put several contingencies in place to ensure the NRL and our 6pm bulletins will proceed. Our IT teams are working around the clock to fully restore our systems which have primarily affected our Broadcast and Corporate business units. 

‘Publishing and Radio systems continue to be operational.

‘While our IT teams work through this issue, we ask that all employees, in all markets, work from home until further notice.’

Nine journalist Alicia Loxley additionally said: ‘Cyber hackers have targeted Channel Nine in a massive ransomware attack bringing down its network Australia-wide. 

‘No one has claimed responsibility for the bug but IT experts are working to bring systems back on-line.’ 

TV Blackbox cited ‘security experts’ who told told the network the attack is likely from Russia ‘due to the sophistication of the hack’.

Monday’s episode of the current affairs series, which is hosted by Liz Hayes, seeks to ‘expose Vladimir Putin’s deadly campaign of chemical assassination, being waged against his enemies on the streets of western countries’. 

However, the episode is pre-recorded and will go to air as planned on Monday night.

Nine is currently scrambling to get its live programming back on air, with the Today show and news bulletins set to go ahead.  

Channel Nine cancelled much of its programming on Sunday due to an 'unprecedented cyber attack'. Pictured: Hosts Rebecca Maddern, Richard Wilkins and Jayne Azzopardi

Channel Nine cancelled much of its programming on Sunday due to an ‘unprecedented cyber attack’. Pictured: Hosts Rebecca Maddern, Richard Wilkins and Jayne Azzopardi  

In a statement, Nine representatives said: 'We wish to inform you there has been a cyber-attack on our systems which has disrupted live broadcasts out of Nine Sydney'

 In a statement, Nine representatives said: ‘We wish to inform you there has been a cyber-attack on our systems which has disrupted live broadcasts out of Nine Sydney’ 

It follows reports that President Putin has launched a terrifying new campaign to silence critics of his authoritarian regime – six of whom live in Britain. 

An anonymous Russian intelligence officer who warned Salisbury novichok victim Sergei Skripal was being targeted by the Kremlin has spoken out to warn dissidents they are on the President’s so-called ‘kill list’.

The six anti-Putin opponents who are living in Britain include businessman Bill Browder and former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who came to global fame after the release of his dodgy and discredited Trump dossier. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Moscow as an ‘active threat’ to British security, and vowed to raise the cap on the number of nuclear weapons in response.

US President Joe Biden refused to apologise after calling the Russian leader a ‘killer’ amid an escalating war of words between the two countries. 

President Putin snapped back by wishing his American counterpart ‘good health’ and recalling the Russian Ambassador from the United States.  

Vladimir Putin (pictured) moved a step closer to becoming 'president for life' as Russian MPs approved a law that would let him stay in power until 2036

Vladimir Putin (pictured) moved a step closer to becoming ‘president for life’ as Russian MPs approved a law that would let him stay in power until 2036

Last week, the Kremlin strongman moved a step closer to becoming ‘president for life’ as Russian MPs approved a law that would let him stay in power until 2036. 

President Putin was due to be term-limited out of office in 2024 but last year won public backing to amend the constitution and pave the way for two more terms. 

The necessary legislation has now passed the lower house of Russia’s parliament and only needs to get through the upper chamber before Putin can sign it into law.

President Putin who has already been in power for more than 20 years, would be eligible for two-more six year terms that would take him to 2036. 

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