Hackers take over origo.hu

April 13, 2017

Late Wednesday night, as hundreds of protesters continued to occupy Oktogon (the intersection of Andrássy avenue and the main boulevard of Pest), hackers infected news site origo.hu with malicious bots which automatically posted the following comment below every article on the site:

“We won’t let up here until Origo drags itself out of the governing party’s anus and the gates of the whole Putinista propaganda site are closed. Thank you for marching with us on Wednesday. Here you can find everything about the protest which Origo silenced: -> http://bit.ly/2p8IA61 < – And don’t forget, together we are very strong! We’ll meet again! ;)”

The text, attributed to commenter AnonymusHUN, appeared as a comment below each article, often hundreds of times. The link provided in the comment leads to continuous coverage of Wednesday’s protests by index.hu, suggesting the AnonymusHUN hacker(s) was dissatisfied with the reporting Origo had done on the demonstrations.

Indeed, origo.hu ran a short piece on Wednesday’s protest, one of the largest in recent years, with the headline “Protest in Budapest.” The site has also relied primarily on reporting from state news wire MTI for covering the sustained street demonstrations in Budapest in the last two weeks.

Origo was once a reputable online news source and Hungary’s most read news site, but distinct editorial changes beginning in 2014 led to the resignation of many of its journalists, and since then it has served as a pro-government propaganda organ.

By Thursday morning, origo.hu had disabled commenting on all articles on the site.