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Russia and Georgia Engaged In a Cyberwar

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the who-shot-first dept.

Security 276

doctorfaustus writes "I first picked this up in bits and pieces last week off Daily Rotation. A more in-depth story is available at ZDNet, which reports 'a week's 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 US, with Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertaking a desperate step in order to disseminate real-time information by moving to a Blogspot account.' There is a question whether the computer work is being done by the Russian military or others. ZDNet's story offers further analysis of the attacks themselves and their origins. Some pretty good reporting." And reader redbu11 contributes the news that Georgia seems to be censoring access to all Russian websites, as confirmed by a Georgian looking glass/nslookup tool. The access is blocked on DNS level (Italy censored the Pirate Bay in the same way). Here are a couple of screenshots (in a language other than English) as of Aug 12th 5:40 pm: www.linux.ru nslookup — FAIL, www.cnn.com nslookup — OK.

ComputerWorld guy CWmike adds "In an intriguing cyberalliance, two Estonian computer experts are heading to Georgia to keep the country's networks running amid an intense military confrontation with Russia. Poland has lent space on its president's Web page for Georgia to post updates on its ongoing conflict with Russia. Estonia is also now hosting Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site."

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You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573171)

Not as many niggers as US Georgia.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573295)

Not as many white supremacists morons, either.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (5, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573423)

Not as many white supremacists morons, either.

I don't know, dude. This is the Caucasus [wikipedia.org] we're talking about. Lots of Caucasians there.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573481)

I don't know, dude. This is the Caucasus [wikipedia.org] we're talking about. Lots of Caucasians there.

Yah, but they're mostly self-loathing caucasians, as opposed to white supremacists.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (1)

eliphalet (1222732) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574469)

The interesting thing is that in Moscow, the term "Caucasian" is a derogatory reference to darker-skinned people such as those from Chechnya, which is near Georgia.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573531)

Russians, Georgians, and Niggers are all sub-human.

God doesn't like pasty white fucks any more than he likes darkies.

Re:You know what's great about Soviet Georgia? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574017)

back to Mars you arrogant little greenie

let it loose! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573185)

We can just sit back and watch and see just how good their blackhats really are.

Re:let it loose! (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573375)

Wouldn't it be grey hat hacking?

A grey hat, in the hacking community, refers to a skilled hacker who sometimes acts legally, sometimes in good will, and sometimes not. They are a hybrid between white and black hat hackers. They usually do not hack for personal gain or have malicious intentions, but may or may not occasionally commit crimes during the course of their technological exploits.

A black hat hacker would hack the firewall in order to get credit card numbers.

Re:let it loose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573461)

They are brown hat hackers since they are working for the state.

Re:let it loose! (5, Funny)

beckerist (985855) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574359)

hmm...Russia....RED hat hackers?!? ehh? ehhh?? get it?!

Re:let it loose! (3, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574449)

hmm...Russia....RED hat hackers?!? ehh? ehhh?? get it?!

So... red hats... a bunch of old ladies [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:let it loose! (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573511)

Wouldn't it be grey hat hacking?

No, dummy, it would be Gandalf [slashdot.org] hacking.

=Smidge=

Re:let it loose! (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573771)

Define "legally" in a war...

Seriously, black hat, white hat, grey hat or technicolor hat, it kinda loses meaning when legality itself isn't really applicable anymore.

Re:let it loose! (2, Informative)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574117)

I think it's safe to say they are black hats- they're deliberately, maliciously attacking other networks. The distinguishing feature isn't legality, it's the goal of the attacker.

Grey hats generally disregard the laws but don't want to cause harm. Black hats steal credit card numbers, deface servers, and generally bork things up. White hats do the same as black hats, but with the end goal of hardening systems.

Re:let it loose! (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574179)

In the ashes of war, everything is grey?

Or gray, just so's to not be an insensitive clod.

Re:let it loose! (2, Funny)

Namlak (850746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574203)

You know you've arrived when your hat's gone to plaid.

Re:let it loose! (2, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574297)

Define "legally" in a war... when legality itself isn't really applicable anymore.

Now that's just a bit too cynical. War itself involves a lot of actions where the combantants will disagree about legality, but it is meaningful to call some of them "illegal" as a bystander.

For example, if a Georgian troop goes into Russia and kills a Russian troop by firing at him with a rifle, Russia would certainly love to characterize that as "murdering" (i.e. illegal killing of) a Russian citizen. But it's not (in and of itself) a "war crime".

There exist widely respected protocols for what a well-intentioned nation can do to conduct a war, such as the Geneva Conventions and U.N. mandates. They never ban ALL killing of people, and for good reason: if it were to say, "to conduct a just war, you must kill no one", then no nation would respect the authority of that enumeration of norms, and they'd just go back to whatever they were doing before, which could include targeting of civilians, torture, disguising as aid workers, etc.

Re:let it loose! (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574315)

Define "legally" in a war...

See Conventions, Geneva.

Re:let it loose! (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574421)

See Conventions, Geneva.

I wasn't aware they had an IT policy.

Re:let it loose! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574479)

Well, for example, the Geneva Conventions specifically outlaw attacking of hospitals IRL, so I would imagine that they could be interpreted to apply to cyberattacking hospital computers or networks.

Poor Atlanta... (5, Funny)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573189)

It was just too dang hot for them to see it coming.

Haha, LOL, but not really! (3, Funny)

ShieldVV0lf (1343419) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573859)

Georgia: c2c?
Russia: Yes, I would love to cyber
Georgia: 2 late lol..just got 3 msgs
Russia: Die
Georgia: ?
Russia: I winnuke you
Georgia: OH *@#@)(! I am still running win95!

Willie Nelson is rolling in his grave. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574499)

I think they'll spread his ashes to Amsterdamn, where Jean Claude lives atop his Hydro-electric fortress guarding the world from another bad remake of his movies starring Steven Seagull. On the home front, Bruce Willis was secretly replaced with a Japanese successor who can move through US Customs quicker than the American Bruce Willis because obviously all terrorists are American and not those shogun infidels of Imperial Japan.

Propaganda? (5, Insightful)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573199)

I am all for freedom of the press... but these two countries are more or less at war right now (whether they should be or not is topic for another discussion).

It seems perfectly reasonable to me for one country at war with another to stop information flowing in from the enemy to the local populace.

Re:Propaganda? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573271)

So it is reasonable for the US to have blocked all Iraqi and Afghan sites during our invasion?

Re:Propaganda? (5, Insightful)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573409)

I don't see why not (if there was actually a declaration of war, which we will not get into).

But since we invaded them, I would say it is absolutely reasonable for them to block our sites from their citizens.

Re:Propaganda? (5, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573487)

It seems to me that it depends on the situation. If the war's on our soil, blocking communication with the enemy seems fine. It also seems just fine to block our troops access to our enemies sites when they're on enemy soil. Also, if we're on their soil, blocking access to our sites seems fine. Basically, you want to interfere with orders being issued to a saboteur or similar and make sure that your citizens aren't subjected to foreign propaganda (only domestic propaganda).

Note that that's a very different thing than launching DDoS attacks on servers that blocks your enemies from accessing their own servers or communicating internally. That may be fine too depending on the situation. If you're disrupting military communications, that's probably OK. If you're blocking civilian access to sites advising them on emergency procedures or preventing them from accessing medical assistance, that's pretty shady.

Re:Propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573991)

If you're blocking civilian access to sites advising them on emergency procedures or preventing them from accessing medical assistance, that's pretty shady.

But it makes it easier to rack up collateral damage. Think of it as shock and awe.

Re:Propaganda? (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574185)

If you're blocking civilian access to sites advising them on emergency procedures or preventing them from accessing medical assistance, that's pretty shady.

But it makes it easier to rack up collateral damage. Think of it as shock and awe.

You've got to be really careful if you're doing anything that makes it appear that you're punishing "both guilty and innocent alike". Some countries [icrc.org] consider it tacky [wikipedia.org] .

(In case you're curious, both Georgia and Russia are included on the linked list of signatories. Along with 194 others.)

Re:Propaganda? (4, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574007)

Sorry for the self-reply, but TFS just got more interesting with the computerworld thing.

Assuming that Russia cyber-bombing Georgia's sites is a valid war-time maneuver, is it also OK for them to do the same thing to the servers in Poland and Estonia that are now hosting the offending sites? If those sites are dangerous enough to be considered targets, can hosting those sites be viewed in the same way as supplying weapons to Russia's enemies? Methinks that we'll see some ugly traffic between Russia and these Estonian and Polish servers (that Russia will of course disavow all knowledge of).

Of course, the US is hosting too. Surely none of our Communist comrades would ever be brazen enough to launch attacks on servers hosted here? ;o)

Re:Propaganda? (1, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574193)

The answer is in the "rules of war": if a Russian flagged vessel were to dock in a neutral country, like the Ukraine, George would be within its rights to attack that port and destroy it. That's why neutral countries usually bar belligerents from using their docks.

Same thing here. If Poland wants to allow Georgia to use their servers, they shouldn't be surprised if Russia "hacks" those servers with a 2,000 lb bomb.

Re:Propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574293)

http://obamascrapbook.com/index.htm

Viral Inoculation against Swiftboaters.

Re:Propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573983)

NATO did close down Yugoslavia connection to the outside world back in 99.

Re:Propaganda? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574053)

As long as they didn't do it with ICAAN

Re:Propaganda? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574167)

definitely more reasonable than, say, taking over a country unprovoked - not to mention without even a mildly credible pretense or cover story.

Step 1. finance terrorism (Al Quaeda, Saddam et al)
Step 2. ???
Step 3. Profit for America

Re:Propaganda? (2, Insightful)

loteck (533317) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573415)

Not sure how this is propaganda? The summary and articles are reporting facts, and it's interesting to consider, since this is some of the first reporting ever done on the subject of an active "cyberfront" of a currently waging (albeit de-escalating) real war.

Re:Propaganda? (1)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573521)

I was referring to the reason a country would be justified in blocking information from an "enemy" country during wartime... not the article itself.

Re:Propaganda? (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573637)

It seems perfectly reasonable to me for one country at war with another to stop information flowing in from the enemy to the local populace.

If one country (Georgia) moves their websites to some other country (the USA) and the aggressor (Russia) continues the cyber attack, is the aggressor committing an act of war against the "other country"?

If it isn't an act of war, what should the "other country" do about the attack on their infrastructure/website.

Re:Propaganda? (1)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573945)

I believe it is. The same way we would consider it an act of war if Russia invaded Turkey and just happened to destroy our military base(s) in Turkey.

Re:Propaganda? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574157)

I believe it is. The same way we would consider it an act of war if Russia invaded Turkey and just happened to destroy our military base(s) in Turkey.

But different from NATO bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade?

Re:Propaganda? (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574103)

If one country (Georgia) moves [some of] their [government/military property/infrastructure] to some other country (the USA) and the aggressor (Russia) continues the [attack on said property/infrastructure], is the aggressor committing an act of war against the "other country"?

Yes. But this also means that the government/entity who knowingly received the property/infrastructure is taking sides.

Although it is similar to Russia hitting the embassy/military base in Georgia of that of a foreign country, this is a bit different as the property/infrastructure is being moved.

Well, that's a relief (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573211)

I heard all this talk about a war between Russia and Georgia and got kind of anxious, but itturns out it's just a cyberwar. The media really should stop sensationalizing these things like that.

Re:Well, that's a relief (0)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573421)

NPR seems to indicate that both sides have actually been fighting [npr.org] . Basically fighting broke out along the border and Russia sent in an air strike. I'm sure the cyber-war is just part of the battle.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573999)

Whooosh.


Your head.

Re:Well, that's a relief (0)

ezilagel (1083659) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573633)

Cities have been taken out. Thousands dead including some reported American soldiers. This is not just some cyber-war. US / Israel presence is also part of the battle. There is a major oil pipeline running though that country. Russia just announced one of the largest oil reserves in history. Don't believe your corporate media. This was not started by Russia. Hopefully this doesn't turn into WW3.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573699)

Sigh...I know all that. I was hoping the war was big enough news that the sarcasm in my post would be obvious, but apparently not.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1)

AmaranthineNight (1005185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573903)

It was obvious, don't worry. Some people are just really oblivious.

Here's why.... (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574031)

Sigh...I know all that. I was hoping the war was big enough news that the sarcasm in my post would be obvious, but apparently not.

Dude, it's just a headline. Most folks who see Georgia think of my home state. As a matter of fact, so do I. I have to think, "Oh, it's the COUNTRY of Georgia."

Then, I don't care so much. Sorry, there's plenty of problems in my own back yard to fix and I firmly believe that if we paid attention to our own problems instead of worry about everyone else, then the World would actually be a better place. And, it wouldn't give ammunition to folks like China to point our fingers back at us saying, "Well, if you're so fond of freedom, humane treatment, etc... why don't you fix YOUR problems." I can't argue with that. I'm not much for sanctimony or hypocrisy.

Yes, I realize the irony that "we're " fighting for freedom in Iraq with Georgia's help but when they need help from an oppressor, we're mute. Yep, gotta love World politics. That's why I'm staying home.

I prefer to walk the walk - thank-you-very-much.

Re:Well, that's a relief (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573767)

This was not started by Russia.

Rather than getting into the "he did this, oh yeah, well he did this first" thing that will have us talking about Attila the Hun in short order... I'd just like to point out that Russia's latest response was pretty over-the-top.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574085)

Though to be fair, if you go and kick a big, tough, strongman in the shins, you can't complain that he reacted disproportionally, and you're now in hospital.
From what I hear (in the UK), it sounds like Georgia was testing, toying with the Russians, and got the shock of their life.
But I don't know about the history of the region, so I don't know how accurate that impression is.
It's quite interesting sometimes to read the "Have Your Say" on news.bbc.co.uk [bbc.co.uk] - it's interesting to read a:, what people are saying, and b:, what the masses recommend (mod up).
Recently, there have been a lot of Russians complaining of the EU, Nato, and the US's double standards - supporting Kosovan independence from Serbia, but then they side with the Georgians against the mainly Russian South Ossestia.

Re:Well, that's a relief (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574369)

Though to be fair, if you go and kick a big, tough, strongman in the shins, you can't complain that he reacted disproportionally, and you're now in hospital.

Oh, no question there. Georgia was definitely reckless here.

but then they side with the Georgians against the mainly Russian South Ossestia.

I'm new to this as well and am still catching up on history. But I think that the Russians are more interested in control than they are in the welfare of 70,000 people in South Ossetia. They stuck their nose into a civil war, and then complain when their "peacekeepers" (who actually seem to run the government) get killed in the process. And then granting South Ossetians Russian citizenship when they are still part of Georgia? Well, that's pretty brazen. Even more brazen is claiming that now "Russians" are being killed in South Ossetia. They have effectively annexed South Ossetia... and now are grabbing even more of Georgia to "protect" it.

Re:Well, that's a relief (0)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574507)

Recently, there have been a lot of Russians complaining of the EU, Nato, and the US's double standards - supporting Kosovan independence from Serbia, but then they side with the Georgians against the mainly Russian South Ossestia.

Yeah, poor Russia.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574265)

So's a missile shield in Europe to surround Russia.

Re:Well, that's a relief (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574339)

This was not started by Russia.

Yeah, it's just sickening how Georgia was sure they had an easy conquest in taking on a tiny country like Russia.

How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573349)

Just like we can specify a URL like "http://username:password@www.somewhere.com/" can we come up with a way to specify a given virtualhostname at an IP address (say... "http://www.somesite.com>192.168.1.5/")?

Aside from evading such DNS censorship, it'd make debugging DNS and vhost configuration errors much, much easier.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (3, Interesting)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573447)

That's a terrible idea - the phishers would be all over that. Anyone who needs to override DNS should know how to do so themselves - and a IP-based address is useless for long-term use, so you wouldn't be able to use them in stable links either.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

cdrom600 (981598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574127)

Anyone who needs to override DNS should know how to do so themselves

Simply overriding DNS will not work in this case - sites served through vhosts can only be accessed by domain name. See my reply to Mr. Slippery, below, or Google 'apache vhosts' or similar.

a IP-based address is useless for long-term use, so you wouldn't be able to use them in stable links either.

Most Web servers, excepting home servers, have static IPs, which are in fact pretty stable. How else would DNS work - IP changes can take 24hrs to propagate over the Internet? Also, we're not talking about stable link shere, we're talking about temporarily circumventing DNS-based blocks of Web sites by governments or other people/organizations.

Your point about phishers, though, is legitimate.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574253)

You can easily use the hosts file to redirect any domain name to whatever IP you like.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574457)

True, but with Opera (and likely other browsers) you need to restart the browser for it to take effect; a rather annoying amount of overhead.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574525)

True - but the situation rarely occurs, and the phishing threat is real enough that we shouldn't implement this. A "flush DNS cache" option hidden in a menu somewhere would be a better option.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (3, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573689)

Just like we can specify a URL like "http://username:password@www.somewhere.com/" can we come up with a way to specify a given virtualhostname at an IP address (say... "http://www.somesite.com>192.168.1.5/")?

Just put "192.168.1.5 www.somesite.com" in /etc/hosts, or whatever the Windows equivalent is.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (5, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573815)

Just put "192.168.1.5 www.somesite.com" in /etc/hosts, or whatever the Windows equivalent is.

It's actually /etc/hosts, believe it or not.

Well, or something like C:\Windows\System32\etc\hosts. But the format is identical, save for maybe using \r\n instead of \n (and I'm not even sure about that).

Must be all that BSD code in the Windows IP stack.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (5, Informative)

scalarscience (961494) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573951)

Actually it's Windows\System32\drivers\etc (the file is hosts without any extension). On Vista UAC may block your access to the file by default as well, the easiest way to get around this (aside from disabling UAC altogether) is to run your editor with elevated privileges.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

omnipresentbob (858376) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574373)

You can indeed use \n

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573889)

I think the point was that it would be more convenient to do it directly in the browser without having to modify the hosts file (WINDOWS/system32/drivers/etc/hosts on Windows).

Of course, the point 42 makes is very salient. There would be a lot of potential for abuse since many folks don't play close attention to what URLs on which they click.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

cdrom600 (981598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574049)

That's not what OP is talking about.

Many Web hosts, mine included, use virtual hosts to put multiple sites on a single server. The IP is used to route traffic for multiple domains to that server, and the server decides which site to serve based on the domain which was requested.

Ex. a computer at 192.168.1.5 serves three sites: example1.com, example2.com, example3.com. If you just enter 192.168.1.5 in your browser, what site do you get?
The server looks at the domain name to decide what to serve. Thus, just putting an IP in the hosts file will not work.

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574277)

Putting the IP in the hosts file will work fine. Your browser sees '192.168.1.10 example1.com' in the hosts file, then connects to 192.168.1.10 and asks for example1.com. No problem, right?

Re:How much more of this until browsers adapt? (1)

cdrom600 (981598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574511)

Hmmm. I hadn't considered that - I was still thinking that putting it in the hosts file was akin to typing in the IP. Now your suggestion makes sense.

You're probably right. Please disregard my post(s) and accept my sincerest apologies!

I am definitely going to try this when I get home, though. Now I *have* to see this for myself.

(crap. I feel stupid right now)

Direct translation to Battlefield... (2, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573351)

It seems that Georgian military units are pinging off the map, while russian units are enjoying first shot capability.

This has allowed the Russians to clear each map easily, with little resistance.

Re:Direct translation to Battlefield... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574495)

This will hold to the Russian's advantages, until the lightning round when the Georgians Spawn points are closer to the dark matter gun. Wait are they playing CTF or DM? Either way, the Georgian will PWN the the Russians with the Dark matter gun ;)

Dupe? (2, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573363)

I first heard about this by reading an article titled "Evidence of Russian Cyberwarfare Against Georgia [slashdot.org] ". It was posted on this site you might have heard about called /. (or Slashdot).

Re:Dupe? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573413)

You must be new here. Welcome! I'm AC.

Wow (0, Offtopic)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573563)

So, I guess this could be considered the ultimate rick roll. [internetis...siness.com]

DOS? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573589)

The official response to DOS is to Distribute content as widely as possible. They can't really censor things if others want the info spread. There are way too many tools available now to keep something censored.

We'll call this the Russian Correlation to The Streisand Effect from now on.

a Language other than English (3, Funny)

seyyah (986027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573613)

That's crack reporting there:

Here are a couple of screenshots (in a language other than English)

It's Georgian. In language and alphabet.

mod parent up (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573975)

Ya dumb fuckers - was it that hard to try to identify the language involved? Even just the alphabet, if you weren't sure of the specific language?

Sigh.

Wasn't this the plot of a Tom Clancy game? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573617)

I'm pretty sure the Georgians tried this once already, in Splinter Cell...

Re:Wasn't this the plot of a Tom Clancy game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573923)

lol that was my first thought too - but I believe it was the Azerbaijanis.

Without country (4, Interesting)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573627)

Cyberwar is global. What's to stop widespread vigilante justice against either side? What's to stop US or Chinese hackers from joining in independently to fight on the side they choose? When does blogspot or the Estonian site become the target?

Re:Without country (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573717)

What's to stop widespread vigilante justice against either side?

Hot double agents who promise to aid the hackers in their jihad against perpetual virginity in return for non-interferenece.

Defcon guys... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573639)

Looks like the Defcon network guys could have a nice little contracting business...

NOT CYBER WAR, It's something else... (5, Informative)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573645)

I've listened to NPR yesterday about this, and the best experts have been able to say so far is that it is cyber VANDALISM. No major infrastructure has been crashed. Hospitals and such have not been imploded.

There is even speculation that Georgians themselves crashed/trashed their OWN systems to exploit the current bad image Putin (yes, PUTIN is calling the shots, not Medvedev. Moreover, and ironically, a US-based outfit in, guess where... GEORGIA (yes, the state) offered and took on the hosting for the Georgian President's web site. Guess what? It wasn't working out. It was still being crashed/taken down. So, another party (seems to be Estonia) is helping out.

I really fracking wish some of these sensationalistic headers on Slash would get slashed.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2008/08/august_12th_show.html [npr.org]

Now, given that Putin/Medvedev claim Russian advances are immediately ceasing (purportedly) there really isn't "cyber warfare" going on, isn't there? If things continue, or escalate, THEN it might truly eclipse the bounds into "warfare".

Re:NOT CYBER WAR, It's something else... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573691)

Hate to reply to my own post, but I forgot.....

Also, in the rounds of speculation, there is the possibility that other parties are involved in the cyber vandalism, exploiting the opportunity to politically assail Georgia. It's being suggested that these are pro-Moscow crackers.

Re:NOT CYBER WAR, It's something else... (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574009)

I really fracking wish some of these sensationalistic headers on Slash would get slashed.

That doesn't bring the bacon home.

Well, tough for them. (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573729)

I'm sure that they were largely on top of it, right up until their back-ups got linked on slashdot.

That's more force than any government could muster.

Wasn't the internet ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573741)

created the way it is so it would be robust against enemy attacks. The idea was that if New York (for instance) was bombed, the traffic would re-route itself around that problem and communication would be maintained.

Murphy's law (or a variant thereof) is at work here. The very architecture of the internet makes it possible to totally shut down a country's communication infrastructure. It seems like a very good argument for keeping the telephone system completely separate from the internet.

This is not government-conducted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573781)

How come most people think that the government/military actually unleash those DDoS (or other) attacks? They gain close to nothing by doing so, and the money/skill that is needed for this can be employed better. Everything is much more simple - the government launches heavy media propaganda, and one of its results is that there are suddenly a lot of people who want to do this kind of thing for nothing at all. It was like this during the Russian-Estonian tension - people just consolidated on different boards to DDoS or hack sites (mainly DDoS, since it doesn't take very much skill). Of course, censoring access to sites on a country level is a whole different thing, it clearly shows a government involvement.

Putin picks up his ringing phone... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24573803)

Hu Jintao: Hello, Putin? Its me, Hu. Yeah, I'm fine, how are you? Listen, we need something strong to divert the public eyes from tibet issue during olympics.....

A new opportunity arises.... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573819)

This is a perfect situation for the REST of the world to voice its opinion.....by its own action.

C'mon, you guys. You know damn well that if enough /.ers got it together, the response to all this doesn't have to come from Georgia. The only requirement to respond is a conscience.

A background in IT is most certainly useful, though.

The problem is finding out who is in the wrong, and who is in the right.

Uh? People? (1, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573895)

Wasn't the internet invented with the idea in mind that you can't do exactly that, stop information from being exchanged? Wasn't that what the idea behind the whole resilence of the net and rerouting past clogged or destroyed nodes was, back when ARPA had its fingers on it?

Back to the drawing board, people, epic fail. Or rather, get back to the redundancy we stripped because we're cheap and want the net to be profitable.

Re:Uh? People? (3, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574165)

Wow, people just don't understand. The Internet is not down there. The packets get routed. It's the web servers that are being vandalized. The actual servers that host the actual content the Internet delivers. Hence, Garbage in, Garbage out.

Re:Uh? People? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574261)

Wasn't that what the idea behind the whole resilence of the net and rerouting past clogged or destroyed nodes was, back when ARPA had its fingers on it?

And that is exactly what it is doing now. Routing around "damage". Georgia, for whatever reason(DDOS, actual destruction, hacking), is "damaged". The rest of the internet is just fine.

two words (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24573935)

"There is a question whether the computer work is being done by the Russian military or others."

Plausible deniability.

I didn't know Georgia had computers (2, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574033)

Oh wait, you meant the other Georgia.

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574083)

...service denies you!

Censoring access? I think not. (4, Interesting)

arcade (16638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574115)

I think the claim that Georgia is censoring traffic is probably misleading.

What's happening is that they've got incoming DoS-attacks, and have probably nullrouted quite a few russian IP-ranges. This probably includes quite a few DNS servers, making DNS lookups fail.

I haven't taken the time to _check_ any of this, but if you nullroute the DNS servers, of course DNS lookups will fail. If you're under a DoS, of course you nullroute quite a lot.

Old Foreign Ministry website on Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24574129)

Google has an old Georgia Foreign Ministry website cached.
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:nBZ19xqUP6wJ:www.mfa.gov.ge/%3Flang_id%3DENG+foreign+ministry+georgia&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

There is some information there (in cached version) that contradicts current statements by the Georgian goverment regarding the start of the events.
I may venture so far as to question the source of cyber attacks on Georgia websites.

Teh Googles (2, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574403)

Speaking of cyberwar... So, I google mapped Georgia (I'm reasonably good about knowing geography... but come on, Georgia? Sorry Georgians...) Anyway... I was rather disappointed to find that... there's nothing there [google.com] . Really odd. Roads end, obvious cities aren't even labeled as cities. It's not like Google did a cursory mapping of it and skipped parts... it's just that aside from the border and the country name it doesn't exist. Also... good luck finding it by typing "Georgia" in google maps. The country isn't even an option. I had to wander through eastern Europe until I got over by Turkey before I saw it.

Hear from the security team defending the website (4, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24574405)

here : http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=714632 [webhostingtalk.com] these are the people working at that atlanta web host, hosting georgian president's site from russian bastardiness. they havent had enough sleep in the few days but they made a fight of principle out of it.
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