Russia’s top blog sites were hit by a hacker attack on the blogging service LiveJournal, which was quite surprising given the unwritten rules of cyber warfare that had been in place up until now. These attacks were the equivalent of online carpet bombing, rather than the focused attacks that hackers often use to take down the websites of their ideological enemies.
Their victim was the entire world of the Russian blogosphere, and the motive is to erode the virtual infrastructure of free speech itself. The scope of the attack wasn’t clear at first, and at first it seemed narrowly political in nature as it was targeting the sites of just one anti-corruption crusader and blogger, Alexei Navalny, who has long been a thorn in the government’s side. There fore it was easy for Navalny and other opposition bloggers to conclude at first that the hackers were aligned with, or hired by, the government. But the second barrage against LiveJournal showed no ideological rhyme or reason.