[Full-disclosure] Internet attacks against Georgian web sites
ge at linuxbox.org
Mon Aug 11 07:40:16 BST 2008
In the last days news and government web sites in Georgia suffered DDoS
attacks. While these attacks seem to affect the Georgian Internet, it is still
1. There are botnet attacks against .ge websites.
2. These attacks affect the .ge Internet infrastructure, but it's reachable.
3. It doesn't seem Internet infrastructure is directly attacked.
4. Every other political tension in the past 10 years, from a comic of the
Prophet Muhammad to the war in Iraq, were followed by online supporters
attacking targets which seem affiliated with the opposing side, and vise-versa.
Up to the Estonian war, such attacks would be called "hacker enthusiast
attacks" or "cyber terrorism" (of the weak sort). Nowadays any attack with a
political nature seems to get the "information warfare" tag. When 300
Lithuanian web sites were defaced last month, "cyber war" was the buzzword.
Running security for the Israeli government Internet operation and later the
Israeli government CERT such attacks were routine, and just by speaking on them
in the local news outlets I started bigger so-called "wars" when enthusiasts
responded in the story comments and then attacks the "other side".
Not every fighting is warfare. While Georgia is obviously under a DDoS attacks
and it is political in nature, it doesn't so far seem different than any other
online after-math by fans. Political tensions are always followed by online
attacks by sympathizers.
Could this somehow be indirect Russian action? Yes, but considering Russia is
past playing nice and uses real bombs, they could have attacked more strategic
targets or eliminated the infrastructure kinetically.
Coulda, shouldaâ¦ the nature of what's going on isn't clear, but until we are
certain anything state-sponsored is happening on the Internet it is my official
opinion this is not warfare, but just some unaffiliated attacks by Russian
hackers and/or some rioting by enthusiastic Russian supporters.
It is too early to say for sure what this is and who is behind it.
The RBN blog (following the Russian Business Network) is of a different
Also, Renesys has been following the situation and provides with some data:
(Thanks to Paul Ferguson for the URLs)
DDoS attacks harm the Internet itself rather than just this or that web site,
so soon this may require some of us in the Internet security operations
community getting involved in mitigating the attacks, if they don't just drop
on their own.
"You don't need your firewalls! Gadi is Israel's firewall."
-- Itzik (Isaac) Cohen, "Computers czar", Senior Deputy to the Accountant General,
Israel's Ministry of Finance, at the government's CIO conference, 2005.
(after two very funny self-deprication quotes, time to even things up!)
My profile and resume:
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