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The Investigative Committee refuses to investigate DDoS attacks


27 July 2011

For three months now the Investigative Committee of Russia has been refusing to investigate the DDoS attacks on the website of the newspaper Novaya gazeta, which was blocked by hackers in early April.

“This kind of attitude on the part of the law enforcement agencies offers no guarantees that further DDoS attacks will be punished,” stress legal experts from the Agora Human Rights Association that represents Novaya gazeta in this case. “This is further evidenced by today's LiveJournal announcement of fresh DDoS attacks that have disrupted its website.”

Meanwhile, as human rights defenders point out, the FSB has initiated a criminal case, even managing to file charges, in the case of a DDoS attack on the website of an Aeroflot agent: “If a case affects the interests of business rather than the websites of media or civic organizations, the law enforcement bodies are much more pro-active. One of the reasons why Russia's siloviki are impotent when it comes to investigating cyber attacks is Russia's refusal to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime,” Agora has stated.

The human rights defenders blame the ineffective investigation of the DDoS attack against the newspaper's website on the Investigative Committee of Russia, which has been sitting on the material in the Novaya gazeta case even though the newspaper provided the investigators with all the necessary documents immediately upon their request, a correspondent of the Open Information Agency reports.

Novaya gazeta reported the crime to the Investigative Committee on 14 April 2011, demanding that a criminal case be launched into the DDoS attacks. In June 2011 Agora lawyers were compelled to file a complaint with the Kuzminsky district court in Moscow against the Investigative Committee whose staff refused to carry out a proper inquiry relating to the DDoS attack on the newspaper's website.

A non-governmental report by Agora on Internet freedom (Threats to Internet freedom in Russia, 2008-2011) records 14 cyber attacks, including massive DDoS attacks on the opposition websites, and, and the blocking of the websites of the newspapers KommersantVedomosti and of The most recent hacker attack against the website of the Supreme Qualifications College of Judges took place on 26 July 2011.