11.9.08

Russian cyber-attack against Georgia

Dancho Danchev, an expert on cyber-security, issued an interesting blog post regarding the recent Russian cyber-attack against Georgia during their conflict, entitled "Coordinated Russia vs Georgia cyber attack in progress", by August 11th:

In the wake of the Russian-Georgian conflict, a week worth of speculations around Russian Internet forums have finally materialized into a coordinated cyber attack against Georgia's Internet infrastructure. The attacks have already managed to compromise several government web sites, with continuing DDoS attacks against numerous other Georgian government sites, prompting the government to switch to hosting locations to the U.S, with Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertaking a desperate step in order to disseminate real-time information by moving to a Blogspot account.

Who's behind it? The infamous Russian Business Network, or literally every Russian supporting Russia's actions? How coordinated and planned is the cyber attack? And do we actually have a relatively decent example of cyber warfare combining PSYOPs (psychological operations) and self-mobilization of the local Internet users by spreading "For our motherland, brothers!" or "Your country is calling you!" hacktivist messages across web forums. Let's find out, in-depth.

This is not the first time you may heard about the Russian Business Network, which has been found responsible for increasing spam rates in the world. I was surprised it may be involved in this, but...

(...) there's no connection with the current attacks and the Russian Business Network, unless of course you define the Russian Business Network as the script kiddies and the dozen of botnet masters participating who have somehow managed to build their botnets using RBN services in the past, and are now using them against Georgia's Internet infrastructure.

After Dancho's detailed description, the conclusion seems quite convincing. And given the inexistent spammers ethics, and their economic profit bias, I find it extremely realistic.