Russian election ‘cyber attack’ brings down websites

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Could elections in Russia have resulted in internet attacks on websites claiming that the vote was being fixed?

This weekend’s vote, which saw a slump in support for the United Russia party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, has taken place against a backdrop of arrests, claims of election violations, and – now – website attacks.

Compromised computers around the world can be ordered to deluge a website with internet traffic, effectively clogging it up and bringing the site to its knees. The attack, known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), exploits poorly-defended home PCs to bombard sites with requests.

DDoS attacks have been used to blackmail websites in the past, but of course, it’s also a fairly simple way of shutting up a site if you don’t like what it’s saying too.

This weekend, popular Russian media websites and the LiveJournal…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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