Armenian cyber-warriors target Azeri websites after Safarov pardon

Safarov was attending the Hungarian National Defense University under NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 2004, in Budapest, when he hacked to death an Armenian classmate with an axe. The act was to pay back, he later said, the atrocities that Azeris suffered in the Armenian- Azerbaijan conflict, since he wasn’t able to kill anyone during the war itself.

He confessed to the crime and was serving a life sentence in Hungary when the Azeri  government put in a request for extradition, requesting that he serve the remainder of his sentence in his home country and providing assurances that he would remain in jail. The Hungarians complied, but Safarov was immediately pardoned once on Azeri soil, promoted to the rank of major in the Azerbaijani army, and hailed as a national hero.

Outraged, a group of Armenian hackers has attacked 15 Azeri websites, prompting return hacking fire from Azeri cyber-warriors.

The skirmish is the latest in an ongoing war: Azeri cyber attackers have hacked about 40 Armenian websites in the last two years, while the Armenians have targeted about 20 Azeri websites, mostly state-government and news sites. The latest targets included the Azeri Supreme Court, the presidential website and the official websites of Azerbaijan’s ministries of tourism and culture, and communication and transport.

Infosecurity expert Samvel Martirosyan told ArmeniaNow that this “is the biggest cross-fire in the Armenian and Azerbaijan cyber war of the recent years. Both sides have been attacking for the past two years: DDoS attacks, when a website simply becomes 'not accessible' and when the site is hacked and injected with unrelated content.”

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