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Russians Organizing 'Political Hack Force'

Lithuanian attacks could be signal of actions to come

Last week's attacks on more than 300 Lithuanian government Websites were the product of a coordinated effort by a group of politically motivated Russian hackers who hope to work together on other exploits in the future, a researcher says.

According to a report in Thursday's Washington Post, researchers at iDefense have spotted hacker groups using Internet forums and blasting spam emails to spotlight a manifesto called "Hackers United Against External Threats to Russia," which calls for an expansion of the targets to include Ukraine, the rest of the Baltic states, and "flagrant" Western nations for supporting the expansion of NATO.

One hacker Website, hack-wars.ru, appeared to take a central role in organizing the attacks, iDefense told The Post. "They said they wanted to offer training and coordination so that whenever they want to attack someone online they have a force of soldiers ready to go," iDefense analyst Kimberly Zenz. "They want to unite Russian hackers into an organized political hack force."

So far, the attacks on Lithuania have not been definitively tied to those that took place on Estonian government sites last year. But both attacks took place following government decisions to downplay symbols of the former Soviet Union. (See DOS Gets Political in Estonia.)

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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