Georgia Suffers A Nationwide Cyber Attack

A huge cyber attack in the country of Georgia on Monday 28th October knocked out more than 15,000 websites as well as the court system and broadcast media, including the national TV station and numerous private companies. 

The origin of the attack is not yet known. In many cases, website home pages were replaced with an image of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, and the caption "I'll be back". Court websites containing case materials and personal data have also been attacked. 

Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It has Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on its borders. 

Local social media has been speculating that Russia was behind the attack but there is no confirmation. Russia denied the allegations, but said that "individuals in Russia" might have been responsible

Western cyber-analysts alleged that Russia's security services had likely played a key role in organising those attacks. The United States Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent research institute said the 2008 attacks highlighted the need for international cooperation on cyber security.

Irakli Chikhladze, head of news at TV station Imedi, posted on Facebook that there was no signal, and the station was unable to broadcast.  Both Imedi and another network, Maestro, were affected, he said. Imedi TV was paralysed for under an hour while Maestro's computers and other equipment were reportedly damaged or destroyed.

Who is the former President of Georgia?
Mikheil Saakashvili was in power in Georgia between 2004 and 2013, serving two terms as president but he gave up his Georgian citizenship in 2015, when he becomes governor of Ukraine's Odessa region. He was subsequently deported from Ukraine in 2018 after falling out with his predecessor, but his Ukrainian citizenship was restored in May 2019.Mr Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on criminal charges, which he claims are politically motivated.

The reformist former Georgian leader is wanted in Tbilisi on charges of abuse of power, which he denies. A number of former top officials from Saakashvili's administration were jailed after his party lost in 2012 parliamentary elections to the current ruling party, Georgian Dream, headed by oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili. 

During his two consecutive terms as president, he was viewed as a reformer and anti-corruption fighter and still has a positive image inside Georgia.

ZDNet:       BBC:       France24:

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