Internet warfare: All Georgia Government web sites down

image Georgia Coat of arms on empty web site About a month ago the website of Georgia’s President was under a distributed denial of service attack and offline for some time. Based on forensic analysis it became clear that the root of these attacks were to be found in Russia.

Now with a state of war declared as it seems all official Government web sites of Georgia are not responding, not reachable or do not display any content.

From a message on Yahoo Answers (see below for the link):
“…Since the Russian invasion of Georgia yesterday, all government of Georgia web sites have been replaced by anti Georgian propaganda placing photos of their President alongside Hitler as here http://www.mfa.gov.ge (at the time of writing)…”

The web site mentioned above currently only displays an empty root directory and no further content. Google cache has a capture of the original web site dating back to the 6th August afternoon when the conflict escalated.

We tried a few more Georgia official sites (parliament.ge, government.gov.ge) and all of them seem to be not responding at the time of writing.

After disputes with other countries bordering Russia like Estonia that recently has seen DDOS – cyberwar – attacks originating from Russia this seems the first time a conventional war is being accompanied by cyber-attacks on communication / information infrastructures within the Internet.

Nevertheless the Internet continues to remain the first and most complete information source on the activities in that region. Wikipedia for example was the first to provide comprehensive information and updates.

These attacks on government sites might at the same time also start a discussion on hot backup / standby structures in other countries for these kind of web sites – there might be many different considerations – security, sovereignty, relying on other countries infrastructure to name just a few.

In one sentence: Whom can you trust if war hits your country.


Update 10-August-08 10:00 (UTC):
The parliament site seems to be reachable again while the other sites still do not provide content. The President’s web site seems to now have a pointer to a backup site in the US but no content is served.

More information and traceroute diagrams after the link.


We have again tried to reach the Georgia government web sites but could only see content for the Parliament site.

The authoritative DNS (ns1.utgmpls.net – 87.253.32.131) server for the web site of the Georgia President now seemingly has a pointer to an apache server at Dreamhost in the US (see diagram below for details).


Click on the image below for a larger version of the image

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Access to the Government site (government.gov.ge) still seems to be blocked at TTnet Turkey. See diagram below for details.


Click on the image below for a larger version of the image

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More information:
Wikipedia on the South Ossetia War
ZDNet on DDOS attacks on Georgia’s web sites in July 2008
Yahoo Answers on Georgia’s web site defacing



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(1) Comment »

One Response to “Internet warfare: All Georgia Government web sites down”

  1. Hillary01 Says:

    There are now some (troll) questions on Yahoo Answers. One asking how many red necks are driving over to Georgia (US) to fight the commis. The other one (removed) asking / imposting as a girl from Georgia (US) with the question on where the tanks are (she can’t see them when looking outside) 
    See this (Russian) site translation with some “info“:
    http://translate.google.com/tr.....#038;tl=en