Security experts say the coordinated cyber attacks which temporarily
shut down two popular social networking Web sites Thursday were aimed at
silencing a Georgian blogger critical of Russian actions against his
Facebook's chief security officer Max Kelly said the
simultaneous attacks were aimed at a user known as "Cyxymu" who had accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal and
other affected sites.
Media reports have identified "Cyxymu" as a 34-year-old Georgian economics professor named Georgiy.
an interview with the Guardian newspaper, the blogger said he believed
the attacks were an attempt to silence his criticism of Russia's
conduct in the war over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which
began a year ago Friday.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in a
blog post Thursday that the company preferred not to speculate about
the motivation behind the malicious attack.
Security experts said hackers appear to have hit "Cyxymu" with a two-pronged assault on Thursday.
said the attackers first sent out a wave of spam which appeared to have
come from "Cyxymu," a technique intended to discredit a user by making
him appear to be the source of large amounts of junk email.
the hackers launched a so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDOS)
attack designed to overwhelm a website's servers with communications
Georgiy, who has refused to give his surname in
separate interviews with the media, says "Cyxymu" is the Russian
spelling of his hometown, Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, a second
Georgian breakaway territory.
A large DDOS attack disabled a number of Georgian government Web sites during last year's conflict.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.