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!

Or

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

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.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?