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Russian government blamed for LiveJournal DDoS attack

The distributed denial of service attack on the Cyrillic language section of the blogging portal reportedly started on Wednesday of last week and continued through until Tuesday, although there have been other reported outages since then.

According to the Moscow Times, hackers used botnet-driven computers in Asia and Eastern Europe to flood the LiveJournal servers with page requests, effectively paralysing the site for several hours at a time.

"A second wave followed Monday, again rendering LiveJournal.com inaccessible in Russia", says the paper, adding that initial speculation suggested that the attacks had targeted individual bloggers, possibly Kremlin critics.

"Such incidents have taken place before. But LiveJournal management reported that the whole site had been targeted", notes the paper.

The Moscow Times quotes a blog from Ilya Dronov, the development director of SUP, the site's owner, as saying that the attack targeted dozens of top bloggers and communities on an indiscriminate basis.

The paper points an accusing finger for the attacks at the Russian government, with Anton Nosik - a prominent LiveJournal blogger and former director of SUP - writing that massive attacks require considerable administrative and financial support.

Over at security research firm NetCraft, meanwhile, staff have been analysing the extent of the DDoS attacks on LiveJournal, noting that, whilst the servers were previously upgraded to counter the attacks, "this does not appear to have prevented the current attack from succeeding."

Security researcher Paul Mutton quotes Svetlana Ivannikova, head of LiveJournal Russia, as saying another attack had downed the site earlier this week.

Administrators, she told NetCraft, are aware of the problem and trying to identify the source and target of the attack.

Mutton also notes that NetCraft's analysis shows that the attacks on LiveJournal go back to the 2th of March, "but LiveJournal largely withstood the attack until it was ramped up on 30th March."

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