Russian Cyberattacks

The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has confirmed the presence of politically motivated cyberattacks in Russia. Recent reports indicated that Russia's United Civil Front website - run by former chess champion Garry Kasparov - along with the web site of the Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations, were hit by a denial of service attack at the end of last month.

Similar denial of service attacks hit the sites of Russian newspaper Kommersant and the Echo of Moscow radio station in early May.

Geoff Sweeney, CTO of behavioural analysis IT security firm Tier-3 said, “The attacks are indicative of the rising level of electronic unrest in the former Soviet Union. With the Russians elections coming up at the end of this year, I expect the problem to get worse, rather than better.

The question is whether organisations will be ready to defend against the standard DOS and DDOS type attacks and withstand the next generation of low bandwidth highly complex DOS attacks we’ve seen here in the west. Highly complex application specific DOS attacks are designed to mimic legitimate user interaction and therefore target the backend IT systems which are typically less resistant to attack and more difficult to defend than the external public infrastructure.”

Geoff Sweeney continues, "This is also a clear warning to organisations in the West of the need to ensure their Internet-connected computer systems, as well as Web sites, are protected from the devastating effects that a denial of service attack can cause."

More details of CERT's cyberattack warning can be found here and more about the Huntsman software can be heard in our Podcast here.

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