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Report Links Russian Intelligence Agencies To Cyber Attacks 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the send-spike-beep-bloop-spike-sent dept.
narramissic writes "A report released Friday by a group of cyber-security experts from greylogic finds it is very likely that the Foreign Military Intelligence agency (the GRU) and Federal Security Service (the FSB) directed cyber attacks on Georgian government servers in July and August of 2008. 'Following a complex web of connections, the report claims that an Internet service provider connected with the Stopgeorgia.ru web site, which coordinated the Georgian attacks, is located next door to a Russian Ministry of Defense Research Institute called the Center for Research of Military Strength of Foreign Countries, and a few doors down from GRU headquarters.' But Paul Ferguson, a researcher with Trend Micro who has reviewed the report, says it's a 'bit of a stretch' to conclude that the Georgia attacks were state-sponsored. 'You can connect dots to infer things, but inferring things does not make them so,' he said. One other interesting allegation in the report is that a member of the Whackerz Pakistan hacking group, which claimed responsibility for defacing the Indian Eastern Railway Web site on Dec. 24, 2008, is employed by a North American wireless communications company and presents an 'insider threat' for his employer."
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Report Links Russian Intelligence Agencies To Cyber Attacks

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  • by gravos (912628) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:07AM (#27276919) Homepage
    Well, cyber ATTACKS might be a bit overstated. I've been following the news fairly closely and as far as I can tell there's not been much aside from cyber VANDALISM. No major infrastructure has been destroyed, hospital operations have not been impeded, etc... It's just government and related websites that have been defaced and while that can interfere with productivity to some extent, it's hardly akin to warfare.
    • Heh, typical media blowing things out of proportion... Remember the cybercriminal hyperactivities [efluxmedia.com] that exploited Obama's victory? I wonder if they've prescribed the cybercriminals Ritalin [wikipedia.org] for their hyperactivities...
    • by dov_0 (1438253)
      Didn't Georgia kinda bypass Cheques etc and just go straight to electronic banking? That was a lot of the attack. Banks. The country could have been completely crippled.
  • If they're ballsy enough to launch a physical attack on another country, annex territory, and dare the international community to do something about it, they're ballsy enough to sponsor some hackers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:08AM (#27276929)

    I have always said that that guy with the blue car who lives on the corner near Castle street is a spy. I once saw him swearing at a cat in a funny language that was not American. I love Jesus. It is hard when nobody listens to you and then the government is like "yeah, whatever" and the mailman is ugly and mean. I love Jesus and Christenea Aguilira.

  • by PapayaSF (721268) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:15AM (#27276957) Journal

    Come on, of course it was state-sponsored. Russia clearly had the most motive of any country, and has a government with authoritarian leanings and a track record of things like assassinating critics. But set aside motive/means/opportunity and look at it this way: does anyone really believe that in today's Russia someone could mount a large, sustained cyber attack on a neighboring country without the government knowing about it? Does anyone think that Russia couldn't have stopped the attacks if they'd wanted to? It was just unconventional warfare with plausible deniability.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NorQue (1000887)
      Bollocks. *Why* should the government of Russia know about any "cyber attacks" any more than any other government? They have a magic glass ball that tells em that? Americans have no idea about who's behind most of the big botnets themselves and they invented the internet. How should Russia know any more than the US American government?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JAlexoi (1085785)
      You are enormously OVERESTIMATING Russian gov'ts power. It's probably has no more influence, than Afghanistan's gov't has influence over Afghanistan.
    • Russia wants former Soviet territories back.

      Of course, Russian rule in the Baltics -- Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia -- was so oppressive that these nations are resisting to the death. Russian rule destroyed their prosperity, wounded their culture, and resulted in many of their intellectuals and leaders being killed. They are ethnically and culturally different from their Slavic neighbors.

      Russia will continue this kind of passive-aggressive pseudo-warfare (hah, take that, internet pseudo-intellectuals) in or

  • Oh no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:25AM (#27276987)
    Why would the enemy government's websites not be legitimate targets in a war?
    • by magores (208594)

      agreed. Seems like it would be an obvious tactic to use against obvious targets

    • Excellent point! I think you're 100% correct in noting that it is.
    • Re:Oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:48AM (#27277397) Journal

      When it's not a legitimate war.

      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        WOW! A new oxymoron "legitimate war". Probably Hitler thought that WW2 was very much legitimate.
        • WOW! A new oxymoron "legitimate war". Probably Hitler thought that WW2 was very much legitimate.

          I'm not sure what Hitler has to do with all this, unless you're clumsily trying to Godwin the thread. Regardless, a war can perfectly well be legitimate according to international law. It is legitimate in two cases:

          1. It is a war of defense, when another party has initiated the aggression
          2. It is sanctioned by the UN Security Council (e.g. UN forces in Korean War).

          Note that, according to these principles, a war is defined as war of aggression taking into account UN-recognized state boundaries. That is, internal s

    • Re:Oh no (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Gorshkov (932507) <admgorshkov@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday March 21, 2009 @07:47AM (#27277947)
      Anything of the opposing government would be a legitimate target, yes.
      But how VALUABLE a target would it be? I'm guessing that in the middle of a foreign invasion, few citizens are going to be trying to visit a govt website to try to find out how much they have to pay for rover's dog license, renew their driver's license, or get another copy of their birth certificate.

      Is is possible, or plausible, that the Russian govt was involved? Yes, absolutely.

      Is it LIKELY that they were involved? I doubt it. When you're invading a foreign country, you have much more important things to worry about than disrupting people's ability to find out when the next school holiday is.

      I would think that the people here would be very well aware of just how much damage can be done by a group of bored script kiddies.
      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        Taking into account that Gorgians were living with Russians side by side for a good part of the last 500 years, no one in Georgia(except Saakashvili) really had any issues with the plausible occupied future. So it is perfectly plausible that a lot of people actually did get their licenses renewed and taxes payed and so on and so forth.
        • by Gorshkov (932507)

          no one in Georgia(except Saakashvili) really had any issues with the plausible occupied future

          No issues means no war - so it's pretty obvious that you're missing something there.

          Yes, there are a lot of ties - but there is also a lot of historical enmity.

          So it is perfectly plausible that a lot of people actually did get their licenses renewed and taxes payed and so on and so forth.

          You missed the entire point of my post. The services the government offers via the internet are not in any way important in d

  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:28AM (#27276997) Homepage Journal

    You are likely to be eaten by a GRU...

  • by djupedal (584558) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:31AM (#27277009)

    You don't connect the dots...

    The dots connect you.

  • This is news why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by guacamole (24270) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:45AM (#27277055)

    Russian security establishment might have been behind the attacks on Georgian infrastructure during a brief but violent war between these two countries when hundreds of people were dying. Is this supposed to be shocking news?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by microbee (682094)

      Agreed. I DEMAND news about ethnic cleansing as usual!!!

    • by F0RR (1464631)
      So say we all!
    • by GregNorc (801858)
      I find it interesting they basically used them for low level psy-ops. Basically the modern equivalet of dropping pamphlets.

      I mean, imagine what damage they could have done if they attacked say, their power supply? While 24 made me want to throw something at my TV this season with their insinuations that one computer controls an entire nation's power grid, sometimes critical systems are accessible via the internet [wikipedia.org].
  • . . . they are spies, they are supposed to be spying. What else do you expect them to do? Tend to the gardens at Lenin's tomb?

    If these spies were being controlled by the late Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria and Kim Philby, . . . well, *that* would be news!

  • ... if you can drive 100s T-72s over the border and kill them all? This is ridiculous. Can't compare the damage.

  • Boris, now we can finally put an end to Moose and Squirrel!!!
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @09:18AM (#27278257) Journal
    The cold war never ended for either China or Russia. Both are still engaged in it. We (as in all citizens; not just the wests) just keep hoping for something different. China has moved the war to economic at this time, but is quietly building up nuke subs, as well as space based weapons. On the economic front, they have tied their money to the dollar, and the Euro. In addition, they have selective trade barriers. Basically, Japan is their largest import because they are hoping that in the future they will control them one way or another. Even now, they are pushing to be allowed to NOT have to control their CO2 or other pollution, while they expect all others in the west to control theirs (That is why I still say drop the cap/trade and move to a time incremental VAT tax on ALL goods based on Pollution).

    Russia has EU by their energy demands. The best thing that EU could do is move off gas heating and power and move to geo-thermal HVAC. That would drop their MAIN dependency on Russia. In addition, it would stimulate their economy quickly. By moving to electric, then they can change out the production rather quickly to say Solar Thermal backed up by natural gas (later with thermal storage), Wind, geo-thermal, tidal (very possible in EU because of the high coastline to area ratio), etc and nukes.
    • by rs232 (849320)
      "The cold war never ended for either China or Russia. Both are still engaged in it. We (as in all citizens; not just the wests) just keep hoping for something different"

      It really did, some Neocons in the US administration, being nostalgic for the old days, are attempting to bring it back by provoking the Russians by putting missiles in Poland and US airbases in Kyrgyzstan.

      The US promised the Russians that if they went capitalist, NATO would not expand east and the former Eastern block countries wouldn
      • Well, I agree with you somewhat about Russia. I think that W/neo-cons HAVE provoked. But those missles really are not about Russia (or iran to be honest).
      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        Apparently it's not the neo-cons according to Michael Hudson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwAFohWBL4 [youtube.com]
        And it's not EU, it's possibilities of NATO bases. And literally, before the radar station and interceptor missiles, NATO has not been more than an irritation. The biggest problem is Sevastopol.
    • Russia has EU by their energy demands. The best thing that EU could do is move off gas heating and power and move to geo-thermal HVAC. That would drop their MAIN dependency on Russia. In addition, it would stimulate their economy quickly. By moving to electric, then they can change out the production rather quickly to say Solar Thermal backed up by natural gas (later with thermal storage), Wind, geo-thermal, tidal (very possible in EU because of the high coastline to area ratio), etc and nukes.

      The best thing EU can do is move to nuclear. Given that France has a lot of experience in that area, it seems entirely reasonable. It is very sad to hear that those brain-damaged Greens in Germany have instead succeeded in pushing through the dismantling of their reactors.

      Remember, if you keep using gas and oil in Europe today, you support Putin. If you advocate replacement of those with alternative energy sources, doubly so. Bear that in mind next time you vote for your local Greens (of course, checking th

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by guacamole (24270)

      The cold war never ended for either China or Russia. Both are still engaged in it.

      The cold war never ended because we are engaging them. We sold weapons to Taiwan against China's objections. We have military bases in Korea, Japan, Vietnam who knows where else. Our navy ships and air force send out their patrols as close as about 100-200miles off Chinese coast. As long as such activity persists on the US part, China has a full moral right to arm itself to teeth. With regards to CO2 emissions, China's _per c

      • Wow. Just wow. Where to start?
        1. We did sell weapons to Taiwan. But when did that occur? Only after China built a WHOLE LOT OF NEW WEAPONS and POINTED THEM AT TAIWAN. Basically, once China put in an overwhelming amount of arsenol, then we sold them.
        2. We have a base in Vietnam? Really? I could have sworn that we pulled out of there in 1975, do not even have an embassy there. Please show me the info about out base there.
        3. Yes, our intelligence ships DO travel within 100 miles of their coast. Why do you think tha
    • by Xest (935314)

      There's a fatal flaw in the China part of your conspiracy theory.

      The Chinese army is constantly busy trying to keep it's own citizenship oppressed enough not to rebel. If China dared send it's armed forces abroad to fight a war then it'd lose massive chunks of territory to dissidents - Taiwan and Nepal being the most obvious, but there are a lot of other areas and groups who are repressed by the Chinese and would love such an opportunity to rebel, the muslim areas are a good start.

      China also has border disp

      • China is working heavily on Space Weapons and new Nukes (sub, missiles and planes). Their spying in the west has really changed over the last decade. Back then it was industrial espionage. Now, it is about how we make our weapons. For grins, lets assume that you were right. Why put in space 1 civilian space station (ran by their military), and then a series of military only space stations? What purpose does the MOS for the military have? Only the ability to re-configure new weapons at will. Otherwise a reg
        • by Xest (935314)

          China has to maintain a military because of it's border disputes with Russia and India and because it has unstable neighbours (Burma, North Korea) and also because it wants a deterrent to the US if it tries to aid Taiwan in becoming independent.

          But no matter what arsenal they're building up that doesn't detract from the fact sending their forces outside their own borders would be suicide because they would lose so much home territory. Even if China wanted to invade other nations it couldn't, simply for that

          • Actually, China now has more boomers AND attack subs than all of EU with more on the way. Only Russia and US have more. They bought an aircraft carrier from Russia claiming that they were going to turn it into a casino, but have instead used it for their military; basically they have started constructing one (that we know of). They are converting their nuke warheads to neutrons (good for killing ppl but leaving infrastructure in place). As I mentioned earlier, their military is moving into space in a BIG w
  • While connecting the dots to infer something may not make it so, Russia has a rich history of cyber attacks against enemies. Isn't it prudent to consider their history when looking at the evidence?

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Oh! So now, in current economy, even 2 is rich!?!?! Wow! I never thought that it was THAT bad.
  • slashdot links to fake bullshit bogus 'report' ...

  • Ah tell ya, it's them Kaspersky boys!
    Them an' their souped up Lada, "The General Potemkin"!


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