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Georgia targeted in cyber attack

world Updated: Aug 13, 2008 11:38 IST
Georgia targeted in cyber attack

Georgian government websites have been under intense cyber attack on top of the Russian military strikes launched against the country late last week, a US Internet firm said.

Tulip Systems Inc said they took over hosting of the websites for Georgia's presidency and a major television network on Saturday, a day after Russian forces poured into Georgia in response to Tbilisi's attacks on a Moscow-backed rebel province.

Tulip executive Tom Burling said the distributed-denial- of-service (DDoS) attacks began in the weeks running up to the outbreak of the Russia-Georgia conflict and continued on Tuesday after the Kremlin announced it had ceased hostilities in the former Soviet state.

"They have been attacking Georgia from a cyber standpoint since July," Burling told AFP. "They are still doing it now."

"Our poor technician here has gotten three hours sleep in the past four days," he said.

Burling suggested that Russia was behind the attacks, which are similar to a cyber offensive waged against Estonia last year that coincided with a diplomatic spat between the Baltic state and Moscow. DDoS attacks consist of overloading websites with so many online requests that systems crash.

Burling said Georgian government websites were being slammed with hundreds of millions of simultaneous requests for documents when Tulip gave them refuge, Burling said.

"The cyber attack was taking down every Georgian government website," he said.

On Tuesday, the Georgian sites hosted on Tulip were still reportedly getting hit with 68,000 requests at a time.

Russia has denied involvement in cyber assaults on Georgia and experts say it is difficult to determine exactly who is behind such attacks.