Georgia: Russia engaging in cyber warfare

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The bitter conflict between two former Soviet republics, Russia and Georgia, over the Georgian province of South Ossetia may have now migrated online after the Georgian presidential website and other government sites have been attacked by a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) – which shuts down a computer network by flooding it with requests that lead to a non-existing page on the server.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Georgia has set up a Blogspot blog to keep users up to date with the attacks, and has asked the President of Poland to put updates on his site as well, under the "information about the latest developments in Georgia".

RBNExploit, a blog that tracks the notorious cybercrime organisation RBN (Russian Business Network) has said that the organisation is now in control of several networks – but efforts are being made to regain control of the server and is asking for international help.

This is similar to a cyber attack in Estonia for three weeks in May of last year after it was in a bitter dispute with Russia over the relocation of a Soviet soldier from the country’s capital Tallinn. Almost all Estonian sites were shut down, including three new organisations and two banks. NATO then sent some of its cyber-terrorism experts to Tallinn to investigate and help their security.

While Estonia has blamed Russia for the attacks, only one arrest has been made. And if Russia’s own government is behind these attacks, this could see war now being fought in what was supposed to be neutral territory and would even be an unprecedented development over the history of conflicts in the world.