Ukraine Caves In To Cyber Attack Demands

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s authorities, struggling to fight off a massive cyber attack over the past two days, on Thursday gave in to demands from hackers and withdrew an order banning a controversial file sharing website.


The website, Ex.ua, was returning back to normal operation after the Interior Ministry had forced its shutdown earlier this week by ordering its registration suspended.

The development is an embarrassment for the authorities, who proved to be unable to cope with the massive cyber attack, which had disabled a number of the government’s websites.

But perhaps even more importantly it showed that thousands of Ukrainian internet users can quickly organize for a major protest action against the authorities, and to succeed.

“Of course, they heard in Ukraine about the Arab Spring with its Facebook and Twitter. But it was far away,” Andriy Kalakhan, an internet activist, wrote on his blog.

“Now, our turn has come.”

The attack, involving thousands of activists, began on Wednesday, a day after police had shut down Ex.ua, a website used by millions of Ukrainians to obtain movies, music and software for free on Tuesday.

Authorities accused it of copyright piracy.

The move triggered an uproar among Ukrainians who bombarded government websites with automated requests which overloaded their capacity.

The attack quickly disabled the website of the interior ministry, and had later spread to include as targets websites of President Viktor Yanukovych, the SBU security service, the ruling Regions Party.

To fight the attack off the presidential administration has employed CERT-UA, the national cyber emergency response team, which had recorded about 140,000 automated requests per second.

At some point the attack also targeted websites of the National Bank of Ukraine, the Parliament, and other government institutions.

“For the first time the government was on its knees before the network, before tens of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians,” Kalakhan said.

“No other political party has managed to do that” since Yanukovych’s victory at the presidential election in February 2010.

The government, which has been widely criticized for suppressing political freedoms and prosecuting and jailing of opposition leaders in Ukraine, has suddenly showed its weakness and vulnerability.

“The government appeared to be the colossus on clay feet, and the regime had given way for the first major crack,” Kalakhan said.

“It depends on the people when it’s going to crumble.”

Source: Ukrainian Journal

Comments

Nicholas said…
Ukrainians have a new weapon to fight the pro-Moscow Yanukovych regime.

Editor