"Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Belarus Service is lauding the country's online journalism community for rallying to the U.S.-funded broadcaster's assistance after its website suffered a crippling cyberattack. ... At the attack's height, RFE/RL websites were receiving up to 50,000 fake hits every second." RFE/RL News, 29 April 2008
. The story provides no information about what the Belarus online community did to assist RFE/RL.
-- "The broadcaster suggested the government of authoritarian Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko could be behind the attack. 'It's very hard to be certain in these cases but because the target was the Belarus service it does look like it's coming from the Belarus government,' said Diane Zeleny, spokeswoman for the broadcaster. 'For our listeners in Belarus, it's quite dramatic," Zeleny said. "They cannot reach us right now. This is a pretty massive attack.'" AP, 28 April 2008
. "While a state-sponsored attack isn't outside the realm of possibility, there was no mention that it might be the grassroots work of Belarusian nationalists. Recent attacks against CNN.com, were the work of Chinese hacktivists who downloaded and installed DDoS applications as a way of registering their displeasure of the news site's recent coverage of demonstrations against the Olympic torch relay. 'Utilizing the bandwidth of the over 200 million nationalism minded Chinese Internet users can greatly outpace any botnet's capacity if coordinated,' researcher Dancho Danchev wrote. To that end, he said, Chinese script kiddies circulated programs such as anticnn.exe and Super DDoS. Attacks such as these were also waged last year against Estonia and are sometimes referred to as 'asymmetric' because a relatively small group of individuals with modest means is able to hobble much a bigger target. It's not hard to imagine that something similar is afoot in Belarus." The Register, 29 April 2008
. See also editorial about the "plucky broadcaster," Wall Street Journal, 29 April 2008
Our friend Sergei wonders about the phrase "Kosovo in Serbia" in this sentence of the RFE/RL press release: "RFE/RL is taking countermeasures to restore service to affected RFE/RL Internet sites in Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kosovo in Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Croatia, as well as Belarus." Sergei adds: "DOS attacks are very common in Russia and other parts of the former USSR. I believe every noticeable site has already experienced them, including the official sites for the United Russia Party, President Putin, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc. So this is like finding a virus in an email attachement - nothing extraordinary. But I guess it's a nice excuse for heavy self-promotion."
See previous post
about same subject.
"State Department spokeswoman Jessica Simon said in an interview with RFE/RL that the attack was 'another example of the assault against free and independent media in Belarus.'" RFE/RL News, 29 April 2008
. "So-called 'hacktivist' attacks have become increasingly common and more dangerous in recent years. ... The concept of hacktivism goes back more than 20 years, but a changing internet climate seems to be making the attacks more dangerous and effective." vnunet.com, 30 April 2008