Radio Free Europe Sites Attacked with Fake Traffic

By April 30, 2008

Radio Free Europe says recent Web page denials are the result of attacks by hackers linked to the Belarus government. Users trying to access the broadcasting station’s Web pages have been denied access due to a high volume of

traffic. The station says that hackers are flooding the Web sites with fake traffic, blocking real users from accessing the sites.

The attacks came on the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the Radio Free Europe Web sites planned on broadcasting demonstrations against the Belarus government for lack of compensation for victims and plans to build a new nuclear plant.

"It's very hard to be certain in these cases but because the target was the Belarus service it does look like it's coming from the Belarus government," said Diane Zeleny, spokeswoman for the broadcaster.

Though the attacks affect Belarus Web sites primarily, sites in other European countries are also being hit, including Russia, Bosnia and Croatia. Radio Free Europe sites in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan have also been affected.

According to the Associated Press, Jeffrey Gedmin compared the Internet attacks to similar broadcasting ploys during the Cold War.

"Dictators are still trying to prevent the kind of unfiltered news and information that (Radio Free Europe) provides from reaching their people," he said. "They did not succeed in the last century and they will not succeed now."

A similar cyber attack was carried out a year ago, but that problem only lasted a few hours and not days like the most recent one.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a communications organization founded in 1949 and funded by the U.S. government to promote pro-Western ideals in an effort to disband the Soviet Union.

By Danny Scuderi
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