Researchers from ESET, the renowned security solutions provider, discovered that a couple of Russian forums, on which political topics are debated, are under heavy attack, one of them barely managing to stay afloat.Thousands of citizens are protesting these days on the streets of Russia’s cities as a result of the recent elections that took place. Many are blaming the current governing party for interfering in the elections to make sure they obtain the most votes.
As it would be expected in the 21st century, hacktivists and regular Internet users are stating their opinions on forums and social media networks, but it seems that cybercriminals who support the current regime want to silence them.
Superjedi.ru, a forum that has a section specially designed for political discussions, was detected by ESET as being under heavy fire from a botnet that relies on a piece of malware called Win32/Flooder.Ramagedo.
“We are under DDOS-attack by unknown persons. We do everything to keep the forum working. Thank you for being with us!” reads a message on Superjedi.ru.
Attrition.org has also fallen victim to a similar DDoS attack that’s been ongoing for a period of three weeks.
“Chances are the website is targeted by an individual who is displeased to see his name appearing there,” said ESET’s Sébastien Duquette. “Those 2 cases are good illustrations of DDoS being used for censorship purposes.”
These are not the first incidents of this kind. On election day, many of the watchdogs that were monitoring the event had their websites forcefully taken down. At the time, the shutdown locations turned to social networking websites to inform citizens.
After the elections were over and the protests in the street started, pro-Kremlin hackers launched an attack on Twitter using bots to post messages with a certain hashtag to censor those who were sending tweets from the Triumfalnaya Square.