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Marching Off to Cyberwar

Dec 09, 2008, 04:35 (1 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to LinuxClassicist for this link. ]

"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 unusable.

"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."

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