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The Georgian Blogger Probably Attacked Himself

Written by on August 7, 2009

Yesterday the world stopped. Well... Okay, what really happened was that Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal was down for hours.

We were all up in arms. I even wrote on Twitter: "Someone announced war on Twitter, Facebook and Google. That's pretty stupid, pissing off 300 million people."

Since then, we have all learned that this wasn't actually an attack on Twitter, but a attack on a single person, a Georgian blogger, who advocates against Russia in the ongoing conflict in the region.

But something doesn't add up.

The official word, so far, is that this wasn't a ordinary DDoS attack, where you get tons of ‘zombie' computers to generate huge amounts of requests, overwhelming the targeted web server. This attack was different.

What happened was that someone sent out huge amounts of emails, with links to this blogger's website and social profiles. And when millions of people started clicking on these, Twitter and LiveJournal was flooded with traffic, which took down their sites.

The problem here is that the ones generating this traffic were people, not ‘bots' (automated computers). So the attacker apparently wanted so many people to see this site, that the site would fail?

As the officials said later "It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard".

That just doesn't make any sense at all. What if Twitter hadn't failed, then tons and tons of people would have seen what this guy said, they would have read his articles, been exposed to his opinions and heard his voice.

Remember that the attack also included Facebook, but Facebook actually handled most of the pressure, and as such a lot of people went to his Facebook page, and read his content.

The real story (I think)

What I think happened, was that this blogger wanted to get more traffic to his site. He wanted millions of people to hear his voice, to read his articles, and to join his cause.

And in his rush for greed, he decided to send out millions of emails to everyone. Getting as many people as possible to visit his sites and social profiles.

Little did he know, of course, that he was too effective. The automated email system was way too big. And as such, he sent out far more emails, to far more people, than Twitter and LiveJournal could handle.

He took himself down.

This, I think, is what really happened.

It simply doesn't make sense to keep people from reading about you, by getting a lot of other people to go to your site. If that were their objective, then the ‘attackers' would have used an automated bot-net. Making sure that nobody could get to his site.

No, it is far more likely that the blogger himself wanted to get more traffic, and sent out millions of emails to get people's attention.

He later apologized for the spam e-mail attack in which the sender was spoofed and made to look like the e-mails were sent by him. So now he is trying to cover it up. He is trying to make it sound as if someone else sent out millions of spam emails in his name.

This was not an attack by someone wanting to ‘stop people from hearing your voice'. This was an advertising campaign that ended up being far too effective.

I don't know what really happened, but I don't think anyone was attacked yesterday. I just think one guy got too greedy...

What do you think?

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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