Russian Blogosphere Under Attack
BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 8 2011
LiveJournal, which is core infrastructure for Russia's political blogosphere, has been under distributed denial of service attack this week, according to The Moscow Times and others.
(UPDATE: You can also check out LiveJournal's response.)
Abbreviated DDoS, these attacks involve denying access to a given website or network by flooding it with requests to serve pages. The effect is the same as the one experienced by a small webserver playing host to suddenly popular content — because so many people want to see it, no one can — only it's on purpose and malicious. In this case, reports say the attacks are coming from networks of computers in Europe and Asia that are infected with malicious software placing them under the control of a single person or group. These folks' computing resources have been co-opted to further that person or group's political aims.
While political bloggers, including the increasingly famous Alexei Navalny, suggest the Russian state is indirectly supporting these attacks, President Dmitry Medvedev condemned the attack. Medvedev, it should be said, also uses LiveJournal, and is an active Twitter user.
DDoS and outright hacking have been increasingly in the news lately as tools for people on the establishment side of the establishment/anti-establishment fight worldwide, but it's still unclear in each case how much is being done by state surrogates and how much is the work of unaffiliated true believers.