What happened last week was beyond the usual definition of hacking. It could only be called an act of cyber war against LiveJournal.
The victims of the first attack were individual blogs — coincidentally, those that criticized the current Russian leadership. The second attack blocked the work of all the servers of SUP-Fabric, which house the data for LiveJournal accounts. The last attack was much broader. According to information provided by the director of project development at SUP-Fabric, Ilya Dronov, “This attack was so powerful that it didn’t even reach LiveJournal servers. It hit the servers of our providers, Qwest and Verizon, and for several hours their data centers were completely cut off from the world.” The intensity of the attack, which used thousands of computers largely in Latin America infected by a virus, was about four times stronger than the previous attack.
The Internet’s role in mobilizing people has long worried many in the government. Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, commented in early July on U.S. plans to support independent Internet in autocratic countries. He warned that these independent systems “might infringe on the rights, freedoms and possibly even physical security of the civilian population.”
The blogger Fastrain responded wittily: “Unfortunately, the ministry’s commissioner didn’t give the name of the person whose rights might be violated by an independent Internet. But it’s not hard to guess. It looks like he means the person who wants total control over Russians’ lives. The sweeping rights of that person might indeed be violated.”
These attacks resemble military training maneuvers to test various methods of jamming LiveJournal so that it can be quickly and effectively disabled — without shutting down the country’s entire Internet like Egypt did — during an emergency. This plan is theoretically more effective than pulling the plug on the Internet, but bloggers note that if these are rehearsals, they are undermining the plan itself. Now that bloggers’ main communications resource has been brought down again, most of the best-known bloggers have already created mirrors of their blogs on other social networks.
Dammit, politics, get the #&*$@!! off my internet. -.-