2,000 Cyber Attacks Affect Georgia Websites

About 2,000 websites in Georgia were compromised in a major cyber attack on Monday, including those of the President, courts and the press.

The photograph of Georgia’s former exiled president Mikheil Saakashvili was presented with an inscription “I will be back!”

The of Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili was “attacked this afternoon by hackers,” her spokesperson told AFP.

“The incident is being investigated by law enforcement agencies,” Sopho Jajanashvili said.

Interpress reported that Cyber attacks on Monday also struck the website for Georgia’s general courts, as well as websites of a number of government departments, non-governmental organizations and media outlets.

It is estimated that up to 2,000 sites have been infected.

The assault also hit Georgia servers, Maestro and Imedi TV, who were temporarily taking the TV stations out of the network.

The Minister of the Interior of Georgia said an investigation had been launched.

“We still don’t have full access to our computer systems,” Andro Lashkhi, Imedi TV attorney, told reporters.

In 2008, before and during the war between Russia and Georgia, Tbilisi accused Moscow of a full cyber-assault on the websites of almost all of its government agencies and leading banks.

Russia denied the allegations but said it could be liable for “individuals in Russia.”

Western cyber analysts alleged that the services of Russia probably played a key role in the organization of such attacks.

The U.S. Cyber Impact Unit stated that the attacks of 2008 underlined the need for international cyber security cooperation.

The brief but brutal war between the two countries marked the culmination of spiraling tensions over Georgia’s attempt to establish a deeper relationship with the West, which has long provoked Soviet-era Russia in Tbilisi.

After his second term as president, Saakashvili lives in a self-imposed exile in Ukraine.

In Tbilisi the former pro-Western reformist leader is wanted on charges of power abuse, which he denies.

Many former top Saakashvili administration officers had been imprisoned after their party lost parliamentary elections in 2012 to Georgian Dream, the current ruling party led by oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Opposition parties and western allies in Georgia have condemned the cases as a hunt for political witch.

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