This January marked "the third successful cyberattack against a country" -- when suspected Russian attackers distributed a denial of service attack that overwhelmed three of the four Internet service providers in Kyrgystan, disrupting Internet access, reports DefenseTech.
The culprit? The IP traffic was traced back to Russian-based servers known for harboring cybercrime, and some are blaming the cyberattack on the Russian cyber militia and/or the Russian Business Network, which is thought to control the world's largest botnet with between 150 and 180 million nodes.
"Reports go on to say that Russian Officials hired the technically capable group to do this. It is widely believed that this group also played a substantial role in the Estonia Attack in 2007 and the attack on Georgia in 2008. The mechanism of attack was a fairly large botnet with nodes distributed in countries around the world...One significant difference in the Kyrgyzstan attack is that most of the DDoS traffic was generated in Russia."
According to DefenseTech, one source reports that this attack was commercial, "insinuating the civilian organization (attackers) may have been paid to carry this out" and helping the Russian government stay "an arm's length away" from the act.
Are geopolitical disputes now fought with cyber weapons instead of conventional arms?
Cyber Intelligence Analysts stated that attacks were launched to disrupt demands that leaders halt plans to prohibit access to an airbase for the US military in its war in Afghanistan. The analysts went on to say the Russian officials want nothing more than the base closed as soon as possible. (This is said to be one of the terms of a $2 billion investment deal that Russia is trying to negotiate with Kyrgyzstan.)
Not that Canada plans to get cybercrazy against the U.S., but it begs the question -- with the threat of cybercrime looming, does distance even matter any more? Is the U.S. no more safe from cybercrime from San Juan as it is from Siberia?