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Cyberwarfare in Georgia

25 August, 2008
By Allison Orr

In a demonstration of how important the digital world is becoming in modern warfare, it appears that a series of cyber attacks began on Georgian websites prior to the entry of Russian tanks into Georgia.  It is the first time that a known cyber attack had coincided with a real-life conflict.

According to The Australian, researchers at the Shadowserver Foundation reported attacks against Georgian websites such as the President’s site and the site of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  They were DDOD (distributed denial of service) attacks, which involve millions of simultaneous hits on the same site, causing the server to crash.

Georgia accused the Russian government of orchestrating the attacks, but it is unclear if the government was involved or if it was the work of independent Russian "hacktivists". 

When hostilities began, Georgian authorities blocked most access to Russian websites and Russian news.  Georgia’s interior Ministry said the action was so that Russian broadcasts could not “scare our population”.

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