Google Blogger user Cyxymu has some powerful enemies. Cyxymu lives in Georgia (his screen name is the name of a town within the Republic) and yesterday his accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal, and Blogger were attacked by some mysterious hackers. They used a massive botnet to launch denial-of-service attacks on his accounts. CNET reports that the hackers were so successful they managed to shut down Twitter entirely and cause slowdowns on Facebook and LiveJournal.
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There is no information available yet about why Cyxymu was targeted or who launched the attack, but it's entirely possible that agencies within the Russian government were responsible for the onslaught. They've been accused of it before, and the scale of this attack certainly speaks to something larger than one or two disgruntled nationals.
The attacks were carried out by a massive botnet, which is a system of thousands or tens of thousands of hijacked computers. Hackers take control of the computers with viruses contained in attachments or linked to URLs. Once they trick people into infecting themselves, they have new machines to carry out their attacks with. CNET notes that criminals can lease botnets for as little as 5 to 10 cents per machine.
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This is certainly a situation worth watching. Any time a person's voice is being silenced like this it is the duty of the world media to bring attention to it. The mere fact that someone so badly wants Cyxymu shut up is reason enough to listen to what he has to say. More details should come out over the next few days, we'll keep you up-to-date as the story builds.