Sunday, August 10, 2008

Russians attack web infrastructures of former republics (Georgia, previously Estonia)

Brian Krebs, of the Washington Post, reports that Georgian websites have been compromised, at the same time or perhaps even before Russian troops moved in to the Ossetia section of The Republic of Georgia. The story (Aug. 10) is here. But Russians have been harassing web properties of other countries among the supposed “Commonwealth of Independent States” (such as what the Soviet Union was supposed to become when it collapsed at Christmas, 1991).

CNN is reporting that the conflict that began in Ossetia is moving to other parts of the republic, and the provincial capital of Tskhinvali now lies in ruins. The story is here. Apparently Georgian troops have withdrawn from defending some areas.

Attacks on the web infrastructure of small former republics have happened before. In 2007, hackers took down “the most wired country in Europe,” Estonia (home of composer Eduard Tubin and of the “Singing Revolution”). The incident seemed to be related to policies toward ethnic Russians in Estonia. The Wired story appeared a year ago, here. PBS reported this incident on its "Wired Science" program in 2007.

Georgia has been an important U.S. ally in Iraq, and has pulled troops back. The Ukraine is siding with Georgia.

Update: August 13

Bloggers have been reporting the fighting from the streets, and dispute there is meaningful progress. CNN story is here.
"Global Voices Online" has a summary by Veronica Khokhlova, called "What's Next," link here. That page has a link to another blog, "From the Frontline," by Elia Varela Serra, over on the right column.

Update: August 14, 2008

As some observers question the "rumors" about Russia's use of cyberwarfare, Kim Hart of the Washington Post has a Business Section article "Longtime Battle Lines Are Recast In Russia and Georgia's Cyberwar," link here.

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