full-disclosure-uk August 2008 archive
Main Archive Page > Month Archives  > full-disclosure-uk archives
full-disclosure-uk: Re: [Full-disclosure] Internet attacks again

Re: [Full-disclosure] Internet attacks against Georgian web sites

From: Viktor Larionov <viktor.larionov_at_nospam>
Date: Wed Aug 13 2008 - 05:43:23 GMT
To: <bugtraq@securityfocus.com>, <full-disclosure@lists.grok.org.uk>, <funsec@linuxbox.org>

Hi all,

As a comment to Gadi's story: it's not nice to accuse anyone if it's still not clear who's behind all this and what is really happening. As a matter of fact, personally I trust Saakashvili allmost the same as I trust Medvedev - i'd bet both sides try to make themselves "white and fluffy bunny rabbits being bullied by the opposite side". I would say, it's too early to make anykind of conclusions or tell anykind of facts - a serious media-war is going on, and if you ask me - it's the only fact which we may trust.
As an example you can switch CNN or SkyNews, and then for example switch to ORT or NTV (Russia's first and second biggest channels) - it's two 100% diametric positions with different facts, different oppinions and different pictures.

I suppose it's wiser not to start stories on cyberwar and just wait until both sides cool down - to see what was really behind all that: mr. Saakashvili's fantasy or a serious act of cyber warfare. By the way, Lithuanians are not the case, seriously, it was an internal act of lithuanian kiddie-comrades as far as I know, and has nothing to do with cyber warfare.

As a matter of fact I would add another fact as point 5. to your list, more of a humrous type, possibly everybody already know this, but just in case: 5. Georgian Foreign ministry let's say "moved" their website to Blogsport.

    http://cabalamat.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/georgian-foreign-ministry-news -service/

    I will not be suprised if in some time the Saakashvili will make his official e-mail adress: mr.saakashvili.the.president.of.georgia@hotmail.com

Kindest regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: Gadi Evron [mailto:ge@linuxbox.org] Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 9:40 AM
To: bugtraq@securityfocus.com
Cc: full-disclosure@lists.grok.org.uk; funsec@linuxbox.org Subject: Internet attacks against Georgian web sites

In the last days news and government web sites in Georgia suffered DDoS attacks. While these attacks seem to affect the Georgian Internet, it is still

Facts: 1. There are botnet attacks against .ge websites. 2. These attacks affect the .ge Internet infrastructure, but it's reachable. 3. It doesn't seem Internet infrastructure is directly attacked. 4. Every other political tension in the past 10 years, from a comic of the Prophet Muhammad to the war in Iraq, were followed by online supporters attacking targets which seem affiliated with the opposing side, and vise-versa.

Up to the Estonian war, such attacks would be called "hacker enthusiast attacks" or "cyber terrorism" (of the weak sort). Nowadays any attack with a political nature seems to get the "information warfare" tag. When 300 Lithuanian web sites were defaced last month, "cyber war" was the buzzword.

Running security for the Israeli government Internet operation and later the Israeli government CERT such attacks were routine, and just by speaking on them
in the local news outlets I started bigger so-called "wars" when enthusiasts responded in the story comments and then attacks the "other side".

Not every fighting is warfare. While Georgia is obviously under a DDoS attacks
and it is political in nature, it doesn't so far seem different than any other
online after-math by fans. Political tensions are always followed by online attacks by sympathizers.

Could this somehow be indirect Russian action? Yes, but considering Russia is
past playing nice and uses real bombs, they could have attacked more strategic
targets or eliminated the infrastructure kinetically.

Coulda, shoulda‚€¶ the nature of what's going on isn't clear, but until we are
certain anything state-sponsored is happening on the Internet it is my official
opinion this is not warfare, but just some unaffiliated attacks by Russian hackers and/or some rioting by enthusiastic Russian supporters.

It is too early to say for sure what this is and who is behind it.

The RBN blog (following the Russian Business Network) is of a different opinion:
http://rbnexploit.blogspot.com/2008/08/rbn-georgia-cyberwarfare.html and:
http://rbnexploit.blogspot.com/2008/08/rbn-georgia-cyberwarfare-2-sat-16-00. html

Also, Renesys has been following the situation and provides with some data: http://www.renesys.com/blog/2008/08/georgia_clings_to_the_net.shtml

(Thanks to Paul Ferguson for the URLs)

DDoS attacks harm the Internet itself rather than just this or that web site,
so soon this may require some of us in the Internet security operations community getting involved in mitigating the attacks, if they don't just drop
on their own.

Gadi Evron. -- "You don't need your firewalls! Gadi is Israel's firewall." -- Itzik (Isaac) Cohen, "Computers czar", Senior Deputy to the Accountant General, Israel's Ministry of Finance, at the government's CIO conference, 2005. (after two very funny self-deprication quotes, time to even things up!) My profile and resume: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gadievron _______________________________________________ Full-Disclosure - We believe in it. Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/