It appears that the denial of service attacks that took down Facebook and Twitter among others yesterday weren’t aimed at them at all. In the vernacular of war, they were collateral damage.
Facebook said that it had determined that the attacks were directed towards a Georgian (country not state) blogger by the name of Cyxymu. They said that they appeared to be geopolitical in nature but wouldn’t go into any more detail.
The blogger is pro-Georgian and it’s probably a safe bet that the Russians were behind the attack. They carried out a massive cyber attack on Georgian computers before launching their incursion into that country a year or so ago.
I suspect that this isn’t the last we shall see of this sort of thing. The World is a relatively peaceful place right now and we’ve not lived through a period of heightened tension or outright major conflict in the internet era. Let me refine that last sentence and say that we haven’t been in such a period when sophisticated foes were on either side. The Iraqi War was certainly a major conflict but they didn’t have the digital sophistication necessary to take on internet communications.
Hopefully, something can be learned from all of this and one would fervently hope that it doesn’t become more common but that might well turn out to not be the case.