Despite attacks on Georgia being ordered to cease, cyber warfare attacks persists on
According to the Associated Press, Russian hackers continue their attack on Georgian websites (opens in new tab) Tuesday with a denial of service attack against the homepage of the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. This attack follows a previous hacking of the web page last week where Russian hackers were able to deface the site, making comparisons of the President of Georgia to that of Hilter. Since that original attack on the site, the server hosting the web page has been moved to a U.S.-based server, where it is currently struggling to remain online against this newest flood attack. The distributed denial of service attack responsible for the recent attack is based on a botnet that some believe has strong ties to the Russian mafia and government, and were likely responsible for the previous attacks last week.
Russian hackers are some of the best in the world and it shows in the response Georgia has taken to the threat. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia website, for example, has been moved to Google’s Blogger hosting service for the added protection from attacksno i . It doesn’t seem like Georgian servers can be trusted at the moment, even as attempts are made to reduce the persisting attacks. Much of Georgia’s Internet traffic is routed through Russia, but attempts are being made with other countries to directly route to Georgia, bypassing the security concerns of Russian networks. The attacks have continued though even despite the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ordering all attacks against Georgia to cease Tuesday, and hacking attempts were prominent long before the physical conflict in Georgia began last week. Other sites being targeted in these attacks by the same botnet are Russian news sites and the website of chess player and political activist, Garry Kasparov.
Denial of service attacks are one of many tools in the hacker’s arsenal and are used commonly to overwhelm a website with connection attempts to the point where the site no longer is able to respond to any request. In the case of a botnet being used to achieve this, hundreds or thousands of computers are used, many of which belong to unsuspecting users who happen to be infected with a trojan virus. Through this virus, a hacker can control every infected computer remotely and order them to perform tasks, such as flood a target computer with useless data or connection attempts. These attacks are hard to defend against, as there is no one computer that is responsible for the attacks, and the end result is not a breach in security so much as it is a wall preventing other real users from accessing the site.