Isn’t it amazing in this day and age an entire country can be knocked offline by Denial of Service attacks! You’d have though it wouldn’t happen any more.
I do remember the days when it was fairly easy to take one of the smaller ISPs out in UK, so I guess the infrastructure of some developing countries is still susceptible to serious data floods.
Currently Kyrgyzstan is offline pretty much, even 48 hours after the attack began accessing major media sites is hit and miss.
The central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan was effectively knocked offline for more than a week by a Russian cybermilitia that continues to flood the country’s internet providers with crippling data attacks, a security expert said.
The attacks, which began on January 18, bear the signature of pro-Russian nationalists believed to have launched similar cyber assaults on the republic of Georgia in August, said Don Jackson, a researcher with Atlanta-based security provider SecureWorks. The attacks on Kyrgyzstan were so potent that most net traffic in and out of the country was completely blocked during the first seven days.
Over the past 48 hours, ISP have managed to mitigate some of the damage by relocating the servers of their biggest customers to different IP address ranges and employing a technique known as source filtering, which is designed to block harmful traffic while still allowing friendly packets through. Some media organizations and government opposition groups in the country of 5.3 million have not been so fortunate.
Believed to have been the work of pro-Russian nationalists, cyber terrorism is getting pretty serious now. These bad guys have some hardcore botnets under their control and can produce some serious traffic.
Apparently the same group attacked Georgia earlier.
The attack on Kyrgyzstan crippled their Internet totally for the first 7 days – that’s some serious traffic!
Representatives from Kyrgyzstan Domain Registration Service and a service known as www.ns.kg didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment. The two services carry about 80 percent of the country’s traffic, Jackson said.
The attacks are the latest example of geopolitical disputes spilling into cyberspace, a trend that’s been growing in the past few years. Web and email traffic in Estonia came to a standstill in May of 2007 after civil unrest over that country’s removal of a Soviet-era memorial was accompanied by attacks on the Baltic nation’s internet infrastructure. Attacks on websites belonging to the Georgian government, on Radio Free Europe and cable television network CNN by Chinese hackers follow a similar pattern.
So-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which flood a victim with so much malicious data it is unable to respond to legitimate requests, aren’t the only weapon in the arsenal of politically motivated hackers. The Israeli Defense Force recently paid a Texas company that specializes in search engine optimization to halt the online backlash generated by its military action in Gaza.
I wonder who will be next, first Georgia and now Kyrgyzstan – I’m sure there will be a new target in the future.
It’s always interesting to see these ‘politically’ motivated attacks and wonder what the people carrying them out really think they are achieving. Do they actually believe denying a whole country it’s Internet will cause any change or any positive action?
I guess they probably just do it because they can, a display of dominance and power.
Source: The Register