According to “The Economist” there is a cyber-attack currently being waged against the a Lithuanian news portal called DELFI due to their current article regarding the alleged Russian attempt to buy Lithuanian Eurovision tele votes. The net result is that the country’s internet has been drastically slowed down and highlighted its weak digital security, prompting appeals to other countries for assistance.
The DELFI website is said to have received emails threatening “radical action” if they did not remove an article alleging that Russians had engaged in vote-buying during the Eurovision song contest. (Russia’s 5th place finish in the Eurovision Song Contest has already prompted political bravado, including a public complaint surrounding supposed missing Azeri votes from the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov).
However the video that was uploaded by the Lithuanian media agency allegedly showing Russians seeking to purchase tele votes – for either Azerbaijan or Russia, has caused the incident to spread. DELFI then suffered a “distributed denial of service” (DDOS) attack. This form of cyber-attack does not steal passwords or plant malware on users computers, it simply sends the targeted servers with millions of fake requests, “swamping them and making the web pages or other services they host. unavailable to the outside world”.
To quantify the extent of the problem “The latest attack was a big one”, said Vytautas Bučinskas of TEO, a subsidiary of the Nordic telecoms giant TeliaSonera and owner of Hostex, which is the internet service provider for DELFI and many other Lithuanian sites. “Even TEO equipment has reached its limits. In some cases there were as many as 50 million requests for the server in couple of minutes; the data flow was as big as six gigabits per second.”
The Lithuanian Government is already looking towards Russia as the culprits according to “The Economist”, but the public are asking their leaders to introduce more robust cyber precautions to ensure the country’s security going forward. Next time the target might be more than just entertainment website.
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source – TheEconomist.com