Before the Russian army pushed past the borders of breakaway republic South Ossetia and invaded Georgia's interior, Russian hackers took over Georgian government websites last Friday, taking control over a central government site as well as the homepages for the ministries of foreign affairs and defense. Researcher Jart Armin told Britain's Daily Telegraph he blames the attacks an organization called the Russian Business Network, which the Telegraph describes as a "a network of criminal hackers with close links to the Russian mafia and government."That's an understatement. The Russian Business Network is infamous for operating botnets, distributing malware, and stealing private information. But its usual targets are businesses, not nation-states. A year ago, Brian Krebs wrote in the Washington Post about RBN's exploits, which included an attack on the Bank of India. The Estonian government blamed the RBN for three days of attacks on its Web sites in April. Armin, the security researcher says Georgia's hacked sites are now routed them through servers in Russia and Turkey that are "well known to be under the control of Russian Business Network and influenced by the Russian Government." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has moved its website to Google's Blogger — itself a notorious hotbed of spam, but at least one that's hosted on a theoretically more secure network.
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