An agreement to work with Lithuania’s defence ministry was signed by the country’s major online media outlets on August 28. The aim is to prevent a growing barrage of cyberattacks, largely blamed on Russia.

There is growing fear that hackers could plant fake news stories in the run up to Lithuania’s elections next year.

Warning that cyberattacks can sow “great chaos in society and in the state”, Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said on August 28 that the state felt compelled to cooperate with the media to combat the attacks.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), under the agreement media groups will share information and strategies with government, while press representatives will be able to attend meetings of the National Cyber Security Council.

Lithuania’s defence ministry has said attacks are becoming “more and more coordinated, complex and refined”, while intelligence services say most of the hostile cyber activity can be traced back to Russia.

In March, the country’s intelligence agency warned that “Russian hackers will likely use cyber tools to influence the upcoming elections in Lithuania in 2019”, referring to upcoming presidential, local and European elections.