Friday, March 13, 2009

And I thought the Jolt cola was bad - NASHE "youth group" executes denial of service "defense"

When I hear the phrase "youth group," I end up thinking of things such as church youth groups. I was a member of one when I was a youth, and later as a young adult I was a counselor for another such group. The worst situation that I ever had to deal with as a counselor was when one of the junior high kids drank some Jolt cola before coming to youth group. Afterwards, we decided that this particular youth should be banned from drinking Jolt cola before meetings.

Well, youth groups can do a whole bunch of things, as HS Daily Wire noted in its story 2007 cyber attack on Estonia launched by Kremlin-backed youth group.

Now that's heavy.

A country being outwitted, overwhelmed, and paralyzed by a group of teenagers? Apparently, yes. Members of a Kremlin-backed youth movement have claimed responsibility for May 2007 cyber attacks that crippled Estonia's Internet in the midst of a diplomatic argument with Russia....

Russia has consistently denied any involvement. Yesterday, however, Konstantin Goloskokov, a "commissar" in the youth group NASHE, which works for the Kremlin, told the Financial Times that he and some associates had launched the attack, which appears to be the first time anyone has claimed responsibility. "I wouldn't have called it a cyber attack; it was cyber defense," he said. We taught the Estonian regime the lesson that if they act illegally, we will respond in an adequate way."

For the record, the Russians were defending themselves from Estonia's belligerent act a Second World War Soviet memorial from Tallinn. Considering the way in which Estonia joined the Soviet Union in the Second World War, Estonia's cool feelings about the memorial are understandable.

HS Daily Wire also discussed the technology used in the cyber attack - I mean cyber defense.

Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks, an Internet security company, is an expert on the Estonian attacks and said they measured about 100 MB per second of traffic, compared with the largest recorded attacks of 40 GB per second. He said that generating such an attack was quite simple, requiring "just a lot of people getting together and running the same tools on their home computers".

Sounds like a fun way to spend an evening. Back to Konstantin Goloskokov of NASHE:

"We did not do anything illegal. We just visited the various Internet sites, over and over, and they stopped working. We didn't block them: they were blocked by themselves because of their own technical limitations in handling the traffic they encountered."

Well, I guess that's one way to look at a distributed denial of service attack - I mean defense.

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