Russians bent Facebook, Twitter to launch cyber attacks

A non profit US organization will say today that Russian hackers stole US citizens’ identities to launch attacks on Georgia during the brief but bloody war the two countries engaged in last year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hackers also bent Twitter and Facebook to their nefarious ends, and used Microsoft network administrator code to test whether their cyber attacks were working.

The Russian government has denied that it had anything to do with the cyber attack, a view endorsed by the US Cyber Consequences Unit (USCCU) – it said that the attacks appeared to be linked to the Russian mafia.

The perpetrators stole ID and credit card information from several US citizens and then used that information to create 10 web sites in Turkey and in Russia. These sites coordinated the botnet attacks which downed Georgia government sites, commercial organizations and the media.

The Wall Street Journal report is here (subscription needed).