What is the extent of the attacks by Russian hackers against Georgian websites?
According to Tom Burling, acting-chief executive of Tulip Systems, an Atlanta-based hosting firm, a flood of bogus traffic from Russia, outnumbering legitimate traffic 5000 to 1, was deliberately targeted to overwhelm the web site of the president of Georgia (president.gov.ge).
According to new sources
, Nino Doijashvili, Georgia-born chief executive of Tulip, happened to be on vacation when the conflict broke out, and he offered to help the government regain the upper hand from Russian hackers who had already shut down several government and news sites. They took over the web site belonging to Georgia’s Parliament and replaced it with an image comparing Georgia’s president, Mikhail Saakashvili to Adolph Hitler.
How is Tulip and The US-based Shadowserver Foundation trying to deflect all this unwanted bogus traffic ?
The malicious traffic is meeting its match with Tulip’s firewall block. Tulip also reported the hacker attacks to the FBI. The Shadowserver Foundation is known for its ability to track internet attacks and it has noticed that commands to attack Georgian web sites are being issued to “botnets” (computer networks secretly subverted by hackers). The botnets send the bogus traffic to their targets, clogging up their systems and slowing them down. According to Steven Adair at Shadowserver, Russian news sites have also fallen prey to these botnets, as well as celebrities, most notably the web site of Russian chess player and political activist, Gary Kasparov.
War may be hell as General Sherman once said, but it also isn’t much fun for computers!