Authorities Resorted To YouTube, Facebook When Global Cyber Attack Hit

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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As a massive cyber attack swept across Europe at the end of June, Ukrainian officials, among others, used social media platforms to help deal with the virtual assault, according to an ABC News report published Wednesday.

When the flight times at an airport outside of Kiev vanished, for example, workers broadcasted the departure board on YouTube by focusing a camera on the display.

“We got 10,000 views on YouTube,” said Yevhenii Dykhne, senior official at the Boryspil Airport, according to ABC.

Just like at airports, the apparent hacking caused critical infrastructure at government departments to cripple. While institutions in other countries, like Russia and India, reported that they were affected by the attack, Ukraine seems to have been hit the hardest.

Government institutions and private entities in the country used Facebook to communicate with the public after certain servers went down. Aside from inherently assisting in issuing community updates, the social media service is also praised for empowering digital first responders.

“Our war room, nationwide, migrated to Facebook,” said Andrey Chigarkin, the chief information security officer at a Kiev-based gaming firm, according to ABC News. “All the news — bad, good — was coming through Facebook.”

The cyber attack in June came roughly a month after another widespread incident occurred, harming organizations across several continents. (RELATED: The 22-Year-Old Man Who Helped Stop A Cyber Meltdown Will Donate His Reward To Charity)

More than 16 health facilities and hospitals in the U.K. at the time were so intensely affected by their inability to access certain digital files that officials were forced to reroute emergency patients.

Due to the apparent onslaught of cyber attacks in recent months and years, resorting to Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms to help stave off the negative effects will likely grow.

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