"AS RUSSIAN tanks rolled into Georgia in August,
another force was also mobilising--not in the physical world, but
online. Russian nationalists (or indeed anyone else) who wished to
take part in the attack on Georgia could do so from anywhere with
an internet connection, simply by visiting one of several
pro-Russia websites and downloading the software and instructions
needed to perform a "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attack.
This involves sending a flood of bogus requests to an internet
server, so that it is overwhelmed by the demand and becomes
"One website, called StopGeorgia, provided a utility called
DoSHTTP, plus a handy list of target websites, including those of
Georgian government agencies and the British and American embassies
in the capital, Tbilisi. Launching an attack was as simple as
entering the address and clicking a button labelled "Start Flood".
The StopGeorgia website helpfully indicated which target sites were
still active and which had collapsed under the weight of bogus
requests. Other websites explained how to write simple programs to
send a flood of requests, or offered specially formatted webpages
that could be set to reload themselves continuously, deluging
particular Georgian websites with traffic."