Georgia Suffers Huge Cyberattack

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Thousands of websites in Georgia have been hacked and defaced with pictures of the former President

Thousands of websites in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have been knocked offline in a widespread cyberattack.

The attack also impacted national TV stations (Imedi and Maestro), as well as court websites, according to the BBC.

It said that in many cases, website home pages were replaced with an image of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, and the caption “I’ll be back”.

HSBC, security, hacking

Massive hack

Other media reports state that up to 15,000 websites in Georgia have been impacted by the attack, which were hosted on servers belonging to Pro-Service, a Georgian web hosting provider.

Websites that are reportedly affected including government websites, newspaper, banks, courts, and TV stations.

According to the BBC, there has been social media speculation that Russia might be involved in the attack.

But the fact that hacked websites feature a picture of former President Mikheil Saakashvili is curious.

Saakashvili was in power in Georgia between 2004 and 2013, and served two terms as president of that country.

He is known for his pro-Western leanings, but he is now a Ukrainian citizen, after leaving Georgia in 2013, citing a political witch-hunt against him on corruption charges.

Nation state

It is hard to say whether any nation state was involved in this attack, but many are concerned at the cyber activities of certain countries.

Earlier this month the European Union warned of a 5G risk, particularly of a ‘supplier being subject to interference from a non-EU country’.

Last week antivirus specialist Avast revealed that it has been targetted by a “highly sophisticated” cyberespionage campaign, that was likely to have been carried out by a state-sponsored threat actor.

In August FireEye warned that APT41, one of the most effective hacking teams backed by the Chinese government, also dabbles in cyber crime operations for cash.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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