A depressingly recurring feature in 21st century international relations: Cyberwar.
So far we’ve seen:
- Russian hackers going after Estonia in 2007
- Georgian websites going down during the dust-up over South Ossetia
- Pro-Israeli and Pro-Palestinean hackers attacking each other’s sites parallel to the recent Gaza escalation
The latest such incident comes from Kyrgyzstan. As seems to be the standard case with pro-Russia hackers, groups undertaking cyberstrikes maintain enough nominal independence from the Kremlin for the Russian government to deny culpability.
A Russian “cyber-militia” has effectively knocked the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan offline in recent days, according to an Internet security expert, in the latest apparent example of geopolitical tensions playing out on the Web.
Since Jan. 18, the country of 5.3 million has come under a massive cyber-attack, according to Don Jackson, director of threat intelligence at Atlanta Internet security firm SecureWorks Inc.
The denial-of-service attack — which swamps Web sites with so many hits that they are forced to shut down — has targeted the two main Internet service providers in the country, which account for more than 80% of Kyrgyzstan’s bandwidth, according to Mr. Jackson. The episode has shut down Web sites and made emailing impossible, he said.
We hope the US Government is ready. While the American military remains unmatched, it seems highly likely American media and Internet infrastructure will be targeted next time we cross swords with another power.
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