Hackers 'shut down' sites over Russian election

Several Russian news outlets and organisations have claimed they were subject to distributed denial of service attacks, which they say were designed to silence them during the country's Duma elections.The radio station Echo of Moscow said on Monday that its site had come under attack on Sunday.

Several Russian news outlets and organisations have claimed they were subject to distributed denial of service attacks, which they say were designed to silence them during the country's Duma elections.

The radio station Echo of Moscow said on Monday that its site had come under attack on Sunday. The station has complained to the government over the DDoS attack, asking for the freedom of the media to be protected.

The blogging platform LiveJournal, which is apparently very popular in Russia, still has a status message that was posted on Sunday, saying it is "currently up, but still under a DDoS attack".

While the radio station's site and that of LiveJournal remain operational, some are still down. The news service Slon.ru has a barely-accessible site, and the site of Russia's only independent election monitor group, Golos, is completely out of service. According to Reuters, both sites went down on Sunday.

"All the phones are blocked... the site is blocked, the hotline is blocked. I believe that nobody but government structures and the FSB [Federal Security Service] is capable of conducting such a campaign," Golos executive director Liliya Shibanova said, according to Reuters.

Golos's site carried an interactive map showing alleged electoral violations, of which there have apparently been many. Slon.ru supported the map project.

The Russian government has dismissed allegations of electoral fraud. The election results saw Vladimir Putin's United Russia party come through as victors, albeit with a much reduced majority.

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