Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security Government Social Networks The Internet Politics

Twitter, Facebook DDoS Attack Targeted One User 205

Posted by kdawson
from the widespread-collateral-damage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to yesterday's site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on, according to a Facebook executive. The blogger, who uses the account name 'Cyxymu' (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia), had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNet News." Here are user Cyxymu's LiveJournal Google cache and LiveJournal account (unreachable at this writing). Larry Magid writes on CNet that this individual blogs about independence of a breakaway region of Georgia. Macworld has some speculation in other directions on the motivations behind the DDoS attack.
Update: 08/07 19:52 GMT by KD : Cyber attacks on Cyxymu are not new. For over a year Evgeny Morozov has been calling attention to him as the first digital refugee.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Twitter, Facebook DDoS Attack Targeted One User

Comments Filter:
  • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:01AM (#28985565)
    Any guesses as to how many more people will start following "Cyxymu" solely because of this attack? It's called The Streisand Effect, Russia, and it's very real.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by palegray.net (1195047)
      You're right. It would have been much more effective to simply have the guy killed.

      /me waits for news reports of his untimely demise.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      Any guesses as to how many more people will start following "Cyxymu" solely because of this attack? It's called The Streisand Effect, Russia, and it's very real.

      Russia? How do you know it's Russia? I've read only the CNET article but my first thoughts were that if Cyxymu wanted to validate himself, he would organize this DDoS against himself. Assuming (s)he is a real person and not some puppet account set up by the region that wants independence that attacked itself to gain legitimacy. I mean, Russia and Georgia probably would have coordinated this with other attacks/raids on the poor soul if he existed, right? My theory is just as realistic as any other until

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:19AM (#28985719) Homepage Journal

        How do we know you're not in the employ of Putin himself? Answer the question, eldavojohn! Produce your birth certificate!

        • Answer the question, eldavojohn! Produce your birth certificate!

          How would a birth certificate demonstrate employment?
          Someone born in any country in the world could still be working as a Russian agent for Putin.....

        • by OakDragon (885217)

          How do we know you're not in the employ of Putin himself? Answer the question, eldavojohn! Produce your birth certificate!

          Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!

      • >> Russia? How do you know it's Russia? I've read only the CNET article but my first thoughts were that if Cyxymu wanted to validate himself, he would organize this DDoS against himself.

        Which is more likely?

        * A team of Russian hackers successfully accomplishes X

        * A team of Georgian hackers successfully accomplishes X

        • by moeinvt (851793)

          Which is more likely?
          * A team of Russian hackers successfully accomplishes X
          * A team of Georgian hackers successfully accomplishes X

          Considering the fact that Russia and Georgia are in a state of enmity that broke out in a shooting war last year, and the 'X' in question is shutting down a blogger who advocates independence for a breakaway region of Georgia, I think I'd go with the latter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      perhaps not as many as you'd think... it's almost all [twitter.com] in Russian(?). Oh, and don't everyone go check it out at once--we wouldn't want Slashdot blamed for the next DDoS attack on this fellow's account. I can see the headlines now...
      • Well, given that "Cyxymu" is false cyrillic for Sukhumi (the capital of Abkhasia, actually) and that georgian blogger himself chooses to blog in Russian, one shouldn't wonder why it is almost all in Russian there.

      • Oh, and don't everyone go check it out at once--we wouldn't want Slashdot blamed for the next DDoS attack on this fellow's account.

        No, people would blame Google and Yahoo! when a bunch of American, Canadian, British, Irish, Australian, and New Zealander users start hitting his Twitter page through the Language Tools and Babel Fish pages.

    • by krou (1027572) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:17AM (#28985705)
      In Soviet Russia, the Streisand affects YOU!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Toe, The (545098)

      On Twitter, he was under 400 when this article was published. Now he's at 447. Now, 449 since I started typing.

      Have a look to see what he's at now: http://twitter.com/cyxymu [twitter.com]

      P.S. Some of it is in English.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      It's called The Streisand Effect, Russia, and it's very real.

      IME, countries care significantly less about what others think of them than your average private individual or organisation does.

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      The "Streisand Effect, Russia?"

      Oh! To be young, and raised in a fat prosperous society where fear is nothing more than fear of social rejection.

      URANIDIOT

    • Lets not exaggerate the issue here. Yeah it sounds good to always bring up the Streisand effect but most need to remember it really only works when the subject is famous. It would be an interesting small bit of research to poll all those who read the story and/or replied to it to see how many could recall the name five minutes after, one hour, or more.

      Hell I had to scroll the page back just to know it again.

      • by moeinvt (851793)

        How the hell am I supposed to remember a name like "Cyxmu" when I don't even know how to pronounce it?

        I'm not doubting your hypothesis, but your research would definitely need one or more control groups trying to remember names of various commonality and complexity in the same context. (Damn! Now that we've talked about it, I'll probably have the name "Cyxmu" burned into my EEPROM)

    • Any guesses as to how many more people will start following "Cyxymu" solely because of this attack? It's called The Streisand Effect

      No, it's called a 'fad' Hawthorne01, and while real it's also temporary, ineffective, and meaningless. Just like the Iranian 'revolution' of a few weeks back, the only result is a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing - which will vanish like the morning dew as soon as the 'nets attention is diverted by the next shiny thing.

      700 odd followers on Twitter? That and 3

    • by Timosch (1212482)
      Except if somebody completely different is behind all that. Somebody who wants exactly that to happen.
      Disclaimer: No, I don't believe that this is the case. It was just an idea...
  • by Toe, The (545098) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:01AM (#28985571)

    So if you ever hear of a simultaneous attack on SlashDot and Twitter... that's aimed at me. See, I have accounts on both sites, so clearly...

  • by Teresita (982888) <badinage1@@@netzero dot net> on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:02AM (#28985575) Homepage
    Here in capitalist America whole country use Twitter to get informed. In Soviet Russia, Twitter shut down whole country to get informer!
  • by Max_W (812974)
    In Georgia and Russia it's Twitter that shuts you down.
  • by ComputerGeek01 (1182793) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:06AM (#28985617)
    So immediatly following a true DDoS attack on these sites you provide links to them so that they can then be \.'d this...is...awsome.
  • No way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Magada (741361)

    I smell a rat. Big one, whiskers thick as cat5.

  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:14AM (#28985675) Homepage
    I'm interested in how each different network will handle the situation. We have moved to centralization on the Internet, and I'm curious as to whether any of these places will give in to the attackers demands, such as disabling or removing the atackees account.
  • by reporter (666905) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:14AM (#28985681) Homepage
    According to a report [timesonline.co.uk] by the "Times Online" and another report [guardian.co.uk] by "guardian.co.uk", today is the 1-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Georgia. Russian troops has not exited the territory of Georgia though Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to do so. Further, the Kremlin has recognized the occupied territory -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia -- as independent nations although the entire family of Western nations has not.

    The coordinated Internet attack against a computer account owned by a Georgian is likely not a coincidence as the attack occurred precisely on the day marking the 1-year anniversary of this show of Russian military force. For that same reason, that a pair of Russian submarines [guardian.co.uk] loaded with nuclear missiles were recently patrolling off the East Coast of the United States is not a coincidence.

    • by TMarvelous (928161) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:38AM (#28985871) Homepage
      Nuclear POWERED, not nuclear ARMED. If you read the source and not the blog refering to the source you'd know this already. "Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/05patrol.html [nytimes.com]
    • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:38AM (#28985875)

      Odd, CNN had reported they were Akula-Class Attack submarines and specifically pointed out that they did not carry nuclear warheads. I think this article is sensationalizing the fact that they are nuclear-powered by using the more vague term "nuclear-armed" in order to make people think that they're boomers.

      If the location of Russian Boomers was world news while on patrol they wouldn't be a show of force they'd be a sign of weakness as the whole point is you have to fear either a first strike without time to respond or a retaliatory strike from a target you can't take out in your first strike because you can't find it.

      Knowledge of where that launch platform is (which means you can bet your ass it'd being shadowed by an attack sub of our own) would invalidate the threat.

    • The coordinated Internet attack against a computer account owned by a Georgian is likely not a coincidence as the attack occurred precisely on the day marking the 1-year anniversary of this show of Russian military force. For that same reason, that a pair of Russian submarines [guardian.co.uk] loaded with nuclear missiles were recently patrolling off the East Coast of the United States is not a coincidence.

      Whoa! I better put on my tinfoil hat before continuing to follow the linked article!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by javacowboy (222023)

      Are you sure Russia attacked first? According to my own understanding of the situation, it's Georgia that invaded South Ossetia, a territory that declared independence from Georgia since the mid-1990's and has many Russian citizens within its territory. You can understand Russia's interest in those two territories.

      So it's not as simple as declaring "Georgia's territory is sacrosanct therefore Georgia should be united".

      • by pdboddy (620164)
        Hence the reason for many Western nations silence on certain parts of the issue. Spain has the Basques to worry about, Canada has Quebec (and possibly Alberta), it's a sticky mess we're getting into if we open our mouths.

        Damned if you do, damned if you don't though...
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by robinsonne (952701)
        The reason there are so many Russian citizens in South Ossetia is because when the region became semi-autonomous prior to the conflict, Russia granted the South Ossetians Russian citizenship.
    • According to a report by the "Times Online" and another report by guardian.co.uk", today is the 1-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Georgia.

      Aug 8 Dustin Hoffman born in Los Angeles, 1937
      Aug 8 Montenegro declares war on Germany, 1914
      Aug 8 Richard Nixon resigns the US presidency, 1974
      Aug 8 The Great Train Robbery -- $7,368,000, 1963

      The above suggests to me that it's American Neocons seeking to regain the power of the presidency, working in conjunction with Serbian terrorists angry at their M

    • a pair of Russian submarines loaded with nuclear missiles were recently patrolling off the East Coast of the United States

      and hilarity ensued!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOZuLD1u_K4 [youtube.com]

    • by f1vlad (1253784) * Works for Slashdot
      There are no nukes on those subs, only torpedoes.
  • Nashi? (Score:2, Informative)

    by RbF_Mack (1609405)
    There has been numerous DDOS attacks over the years by Russia's youth group the "Nashi" but mainly against the ukraine. I'm sure in a year or so when the media dies down some crazy Putin funded mother Russia group will come out and admit to it.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:20AM (#28985727)
    Yesterday, he was the target of a DDoS attack. Today? The target of the Slashdot Effect. Poor guy will never have a functioning social networking page again...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:26AM (#28985775)

    Here is the list of active Iranian opposition to coup government that got attacked yesterday as well:
    http://www.facebook.com/mousavi
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zahra-Rahnavard-/79757303129
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Mirdamadi-/129589377387
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abdollah-Ramezanzadeh/104800577446
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Behzad-Nabavi-/112121917445

    source of list: http://iran.whyweprotest.net/news-current-events/27068-mousavis-facebook-deleted-4.html#post60410

  • Fake Streisand? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209)

    It occurs to me that if you're saying something important, and want people to see it, the best way on the internet is to manufacture a Streisand Effect on yourself. Pretend that someone wants to muffle you. And do it by crashing major sites.

    Not saying that's what happened here, but it's definitely a possibility.

    • It's an interesting theory, but when I think to myself, "Who is more likely to have the resources to pull off a massive distributed-denial-of-service attack against multiple large websites, a single Ukrainian blogger or the Russian government?", the latter seems the more likely candidate.

      • a single Ukrainian blogger

        Georgian.

        And I'm sure they'd like you to believe it's just a single blogger.

  • by rgviza (1303161) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:44AM (#28985955)

    >had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time
    That pretty much describes a large number of users that use YouTwitFace. Maybe YouTwitFace was the target...

  • Oblig (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AP31R0N (723649)

    $Obligatory comment on the uselessness and irrelevance of Twitter.

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday August 07, 2009 @11:06AM (#28986241) Homepage Journal

    And tyrants as always don't much like anyone else's freedom.

    All the more reason to oppose tyranny. Wherever it is found.

    Now to get the Internet to recognize tyranny as damage and route around it...

  • What if several parties tried to do a (maybe if in isolated form, dumb) DDoS the same day ? Maybe a lot of social sites have frequently tries to DoS them, and maybe they usually can resist the attack. But if yesterday they got several attacks at once for different reasons the effect could have been visible to us at last.
  • I'm sure there's some small-town nobody somewhere in the continental us, or some native in the northwest territories who also has accounts on these sites.

    OMG russia is after THEM!!!

  • Did anyone else read "Cyxymu" as "Sexy Moo"

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      "Cyxymu" is actually a Russian word "Sukhumi" written using Latin symbols which are written almost like Cyrillic letters.

      C is "S"
      "y" is "u" as in "zulu"
      "x" is "kh"
      "m" is "m"
      "u" is "ee"

  • Oh come one, how do they know it was an attack against twitter? Twitter is always down - they run their server on one 286 and server it via a ZyXEL 56K Data/Fax Modem - if two people on the planet happen to log into twitter at the same time the site fries!

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...