California Hackers Said to Hit Kremlin with DDoS

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According to Russia’s government, somebody launched a “very powerful” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Kremlin, including a hit on its defense systems that slowed operations for a time. 

There are also reports that the attack targeted the election commission in Russia.

"Someone attempted to hack our website and alter the data there, making 50,000 requests per minute," said Vladimir Churov, chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia, speaking to Russia Today.

Churov also said that the perp was an actor in the United States. "They failed and we have already established the culprit," Churov said. "It's a company based in San Francisco."

Officials also acknowledged a simultaneous attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin's official website. "On Sunday, a very powerful hacking attack was made," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media. "Defense systems worked though it was not easy, the attack was rather strong."

Russians voted Monday to elect 21 governors and 11 regional parliaments, so it’s likely that the attack was the fruit of political protest borne out of the controversial electoral practices in that nation.

“We’re seeing an increase in the use of attack attribution as a political gambit,” said Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy at Tripwire, in an email. “The discussion, though brief, of China’s cyber-attacks on the U.S. in last night’s Republican presidential debate is certainly one aspect of this new frontier for information security, but this kind of public pronouncement of culpability from Russia is another.”

He added, “We should expect that cybersecurity will continue to be an important topic in the politics, and we should also expect that nations and politicians will evolve their rhetoric on this topic as they further understand the potential leverage.”

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