Lithuania: Attacks focused on hosting company

A vulnerability in a Web server contributed to the attacks on some 300 Web sites in Lithuania earlier this week, a computer security expert said Friday.

A vulnerability in a Web server contributed to attacks on some 300 Web sites in Lithuania last week, according to a computer security expert.

The Web sites were defaced after Lithuania passed a law prohibiting the public display of symbols dating from the Soviet Union era, as well as the playing of the Soviet national anthem.

The attacks, which started on Sunday and subsided by Monday, saw many Web sites defaced with pro-Soviet slogans and symbols in an apparent retaliation from hackers.

The majority of the Web sites were hosted on a single physical Web server, which had a vulnerability either in the Web server software or Linux operating system, said an official with Lithuania's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) on Friday. The hosting company was advised on how to fix the problem.

The server was hosted by a company called Hostex, formerly known as MicroLink Lithuania, said Marius Urkis, head of the Academic and Research Network (LITNET) CERT, a different but related computer security organization.

The attacks in Lithuania were reminiscent of a similar situation in Estonia in April and May 2007, after the government there decided to move a Soviet-era memorial to soldiers who served in World War II. That decision caused protests and violence from the Russian minority living in Estonia. Web sites run by the government, bank and schools experienced severe denial-of-service attacks, which were blamed on pro-Russian hackers. The Russian government denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks.

In Lithuania, the passage of the law has not caused protests or much outcry, although the ethnic Russian population in Vilnius is less than 10 percent, Urkis said.

Urkis said it is possible some Russians are upset over the law and would undertake the cyber attacks.

The CERT official said that the matter has been referred to the police, which has a special department under the Ministry of the Interior that handles cybercrime.

Officials do know that proxy servers likely located in Western Europe were employed to perform the hacking. That could make it more difficult for investigators, who will have to trace a winding electronic path in an attempt to find the perpetrators.

"I think it will take some time to find the real attackers," the CERT official said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?