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Tbilisi shows virtual fear2010-09-29 11:32
Georgia has a new reason to worry. There have been plenty of them before: political, economic as well as all other sides of life in Georgia can make a sensitive person lie awake at night. Still, there is another one now. History repeats itself: forgetting to guard its physical borders Tbilisi suddenly realized there are virtual borders too. Not the phantom borders embracing territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but Internet borders as such.
Caucasian information portal has come up with an intriguing headline: "Cyber security among challenges to Georgia's security". The phrase sounds perfect. A reader who knows Russian even slightly will be surprised that Georgia's security is jeopardized by its cyber security. In other words, the country can feel safe only when it is attacked in cyber space. Truly, Georgia is a country of paradoxes.
Let's forgive the author for the clumsy phrase. At least, Georgians don't seem to show off ignorance of the Russian language like many Chechens did during the Chechen war. The core is this: Georgia gets more dependent on Internet nervously recalling the almost unimpeded attack of wicked, presumably Russian, hackers in memorable summer of 2008.
The article refers to the fact that almost the whole of .ge zone was out of operation. DDoS-attacks hit the point blocking access to the sites of the president, Foreign and Interior Ministry, Georgia Online, a biased news portal. Internet providers as well as banking servers were assaulted too: Georgia faced complete virtual black-out being disconnected from the world's information space.
Now Georgia is setting great hopes on Internet planning to create an e-government or portals to provide web-services to population. That is why cyber space protection is announced as important as protection of state borders. But are these fears well-grounded?
Roman Romachyev, head of R-Techno, a Russian non-state bureau for competitive intelligence, comments.
"It looks more like self-publicity, - Romachyev believes. - There have been no newsworthy stories from Georgia for a long time, so they turned to self-promotion trying to draw attention to their country and to their vision of the conflict in 2008 especially when the cyber terrorism is highly topical and trendy to be taken advantage of. It is not impossible, by the way, that it is also an attempt to follow US example: the USA allocate handsome amounts of money for virtual space protection development. The idea is similar: to intimidate thoroughly forcing the state to shell out".