In Wednesday's edition of the Daily Debrief, CNET security expert Robert Vamosi and I discuss the latest exchange of cyberattacks between warring countries Russia and Georgia. It's been concluded that the initial attacks on the Georgian president's Web site were not the work of another government or sanctioned agency, but rather, amateurs whose country or origin is still unknown. Regardless, the Web site of a Russian newspaper has since come under attack in retaliation, most likely at the hands of the Georgians.
Initial information suggests that Internet attacks on Georgian Web sites over the last two weeks are the work of kids, according to one researcher, while another says the intensity of these attacks is short-lived when compared with attacks in Estonia last year.
In an e-mail to CNET News, Gadi Evron, founder of the Zero Day Emergency Response Team, said that "although the impact on their Web sites is clear, I believe this may end up being just some kids who got overexcited, with Georgia being ill-prepared to say the least. "
Researchers studying botnets have reported an increase in attacks on Georgian Web sites, including that of the country's president, within the last two weeks. While the attacks--Web site defacement and denial-of-service packet floods--are reminiscent of the Internet attacks waged against Estonia in May 2007, Jose Nazario, security researcher for Arbor Networks, told CNET News that he's seeing evidence that Georgia is apparently fighting back, attacking at least one Moscow-based newspaper site.
As to the source, Nazario said that "almost all of the attacks are broadly and globally sourced. One attack appears to be very narrowly focused, possibly … Read more
The Georgian embassy in the U.K. has accused forces within Russia of launching a coordinated cyberattack against Georgian Web sites, to coincide with military operations in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.
Speaking to ZDNet UK on Monday, a Georgian embassy spokesperson said that Web sites had been unavailable over the weekend, claiming this was due to Russian denial-of-service attacks.
"All Georgian Web sites have been blocked," said the spokesperson. "Georgia is working on redirecting Web traffic."
At the time of writing, the Web site for the Ministry of Defense of Georgia was unavailable for … Read more
Russian Internet site Rambler Media has agreed to sell its advertising unit, ZAO Begun, to Google, and to use Google's technology for search and advertisements.
Rambler currently owns 50.1 percent of Begun, but will buy the remaining 49.9 percent from Bannatyne and then sell the entirety to Google for $140 million in cash, the company said Friday. Of that total, $69.9 million will go to Bannatyne, the company said. Rambler expects to end up with about $50 million from the deal, which it will use for investments and potential acquisitions.
The move marks an expansion of … Read more
Yandex, a Russian search engine, plans to raise $1.5 billion to $2 billion in an initial public offering this fall, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The funding is based on an overall valuation of about $5 billion, according to an unnamed source. Reuters also cited Russian media reports that Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Renaissance Capital are managing the IPO on Nasdaq.
Yandex has about 8 million unique users per day, the company said. Its co-founders are Chief Executive Arkady Volozh and Chief Technology Officer Ilya Segalovich. The company's technology began as a linguistics project at the Russian Academy of … Read more
If you're going to have a revolution, it's best to leave the guns at home.
That's one of the underlying messages in The Singing Revolution, a documentary by Jim and Maureen Tusty about the birth of the Estonian Republic currently touring the independent film circuit. Funded in part by venture capitalist Steve Jurveston, the movie shows how Estonians held their national unity under Soviet domination through singing festivals. Later, during the late 80s and 90s, Estonian activists pushed for independence through parliamentary maneuvering. (Jim Tusty and Jurvetson are also Estonian.)
The film starts a one-week run Friday … Read more
Russia is warming up to open source, as evidenced by a new government policy document that Roberto Galoppini analyzes, and something I experienced firsthand today during my trip to Moscow to keynote Interop Moscow.
I met with a range of people including systems integrators, government employees, open-source vendors and, of course, Microsoft (Yes, they're always at these events, and the Russian country manager turned out to be a bit of a Putin-bulldog type). Despite the Microsoftie's attempt to discredit open source as a terrible strategy for Russia - perhaps he worries about a second Bolshevik Revolution, this time in IT? - it was a pleasant, informative day.
In my keynote (available to download here), I argued that Russia should develop its own IT economy, rather than shipping rubles back to Redmond (or anywhere else, for that matter). For any developing country (which is pretty much everyone), why would you ever want to try to build an IT economy on imports?
The economic impact of open-source development, as derived from a report the European Union commissioned, is telling:… Read more
News recently broke that Russia is requiring registration for Wi-Fi use. I had forgotten until I checked into my hotel in Moscow tonight, and had the bother of having to go to a special desk in the lobby to sign up.
Reading the agreement, it sounds like this is an antispam measure? Seems a bit like the guns debate in the U.S. I doubt many of the spam kings and criminals that would be affected by it are going to register...