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Who was behind the Russian LiveJournal attack?

The Cyrillic-alphabet segment of LiveJournal — the most popular blogging software program in Russia, is recovering from a massive DDOS attack on Sunday and Monday. The Moscow Times reports that the sophistication of the attack has lead many bloggers to suspect state involvement: Initial speculation suggested that the attacks had targeted individual bloggers, possibly Kremlin critics. ...

The Cyrillic-alphabet segment of LiveJournal — the most popular blogging software program in Russia, is recovering from a massive DDOS attack on Sunday and Monday. The Moscow Times reports that the sophistication of the attack has lead many bloggers to suspect state involvement:

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.

"The attack targeted dozens of top bloggers and communities" indiscriminately, said Ilya Dronov, development director with the site’s owner, SUP.

"The reason for attack is more than clear in this case — someone wants LiveJournal to disappear as a platform," he said Tuesday in a post on his own LiveJournal blog, Igrick.

[…]

Anton Nosik, a prominent LiveJournal blogger and former director of SUP, wrote on Snob.ru that massive attacks require considerable administrative and "financial support."

He admitted that it was hard to estimate the attack’s cost, but said the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement might be behind it because it was in the past accused — though not convicted — of hacking the blogs of opposition activists and of a cyber attack on the Estonian government’s site.

Alexei Navalny, a popular blogger and anti-corruption activist, said the attacks were a start for the Kremlin’s "counter-propaganda plan" ahead of the upcoming State Duma vote and presidential race.

It seems a little unlikely that the Kremlin would find it worth their while to temporarily disable an entire blogging platform — the majority of which is nonpolitical — eight months before an election. Unlike past DDOS attacks on Estonia or Georgia, it’s not really clear who’s being targeted here. 

Strangely, at the moment Russian LiveJournal site seems to be loading fine, but the English-language one is down.  

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