Ireland has been hit by a spate of cyber attacks targeting media outlets, and there has been an increase in the number of people who have been targeted, including some with legitimate concerns, according to new data from the International Federation of Journalists.
The organisation’s Executive Director and Senior Director of Government Relations, John O’Sullivan, said the recent attacks on media organisations were a direct result of the failure of the country’s political and regulatory structures to address the issue.
This is a situation that needs to change.
We’re not going to get the attention we need to address it, he said.
“This is why there’s a lot of concern among journalists and people around the world that there are no effective systems in place to protect journalists and their sources.”
The IFP said the attacks against the media were not unique to Ireland.
The Irish Times is among the organisations targeted, and Mr O’Brien said the IFP had been approached by organisations that had been similarly targeted, as well as a number of other organisations, in the past.
The group said its members had been contacted by multiple governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere in the world.
“We have received a number from governments in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean where people have been told to take their business elsewhere,” he said, adding that the attacks had “taken a toll” on the organisation.
The IFT also warned that the number and seriousness of the cyber attacks were increasing, and had been increasing for some time.
“The latest incident in Kenya is only the latest in a series of attacks on the media in Kenya,” Mr O,Brien said.
“It is a worrying trend.
The threat of cyber-attacks on the international media is a serious concern and one that is likely to grow as the threat of terrorism and other types of threats increases.”
Online Editors, News Editors and Editors’ Choice Awards2017Online Editors’ Association of IrelandOnline Editors Choice Awards 2017Online Editors Association of EuropeOnline Editors Awards 2017News Editors Association for IrelandOnline Journalist of the Year 2017Online Journalists’ Association IrelandOnline Journalists’ Association EuropeOnline Journalism Awards 2017World Press Freedom Award2017Online Journalistic Professionals Awards 2017The Irish Independent has contacted The IFT for comment.