Less than a day after the microblogging Web site Twitter was briefly knocked offline and social Web site Facebook was hampered, a picture of what happened began to develop and who was targeted. Instead of some sort of corporate or international intrigue, it appeared like the attacks were a massively misguided effort to silence one individual.
It was pretty clear that Twitter, Facebook and others were hampered because of a Denial of Service attack — where a Web site is hit with so many requests or Web traffic that it buckles under the pressure. According to BBC News, the target was believed to be one blogger, named Georgy, who has criticized Russia’s role in last year’s war against the country of Georgia, the BBC reported.
Facebook officials said the attack was directed at the blogger’s page, but it impacted the rest of the service as well.
Talk about overkill. In this effort to target one individual, the people responsible attacked several networks affecting hundreds of millions of people. It would be like nuking a large city in an effort to kill one man, or burning the haystack to get at that needle.
If the intent was to silence one person’s opinion — it will probably backfire. More people will now probably be more interested in what this one person has to say because of this effort.
Additionally, cyberterrorism is not likely to engender the hackers to the general public. Personally speaking, I feel a little bit of animus toward whoever would be willing to launch such a foolhardy and unsophisticated attack.
While the target was apparently Georgy, also known as Cyxymu, it’s not known who launched the attack. The blogger apparently blames Russia although some experts said there is no evidence that this is the case.
I definitely hope that we find the parties responsible. It’s also a reminder to Web sites that they need to develop more defenses against these types of attacks.