Websites of leading news portals fell victim to a cyberattack

Monday morning, several leading, conservative-leaning news websites including Mandiner, 888.hu, Figyelő and Metropol were brought down by a cyberattack.

Before going offline, the following message appeared on the targeted websites: “This website is part of government propaganda! We bring you the truth! Independent press instead of government propaganda!”

The cyberattack comes less than a week before Hungary’s parliamentary elections, April 3.

In a Facebook post, Justice Minister Judit Varga called the attention of OSCE election observers to the attacks, suspecting Hungary’s left-liberal opposition parties were behind the act.

“The world-famous leftist freedom of the press is being manifested,” Minister Varga wrote, wondering whether this is “what awaits us if the left-wing comes to power on 3 April?”

Further suspicions emerged of political campaign skullduggery when a video surfaced in which international hacker group Anonymous claimed credit.

However, the veracity was questionable, as the video was not posted to Anonymous’ own social media channels.

Furthermore, the video makes claims about Hungary blocking sanctions — claims that are false but mimic rhetoric heard from opposition figures in the campaign.