Russian Hackers Attack Websites for a Fee
'Online mercenaries' target clients' business, political foes
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2007 7:53 PM CDT
Activists of oppositional United Civil Front led by former chess champion Garry Kasparov, work with their party Web site, Moscow, Thursday, June 14, 2007. Through phone lines, blinking routers and on...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hackers across Russia are executing crippling attacks against enemy websites—and they work for hire, Der Spiegel reports. For only a few hundred dollars, clients can retain Russian hackers to disrupt business transactions by launching barrages of pernicious data into their enemies' systems. But a disturbing trend is evident in recent cyberassaults on websites hostile to the Putin government.

So-called Distributed Denial of Service attacks are increasingly common in Russia, where there's little chance of getting caught. In fact, some DDoSs may be tacitly encouraged—the website of a prominent Russian political faction critical of Putin was shut down shortly before planned demonstrations, as was the influential website of one of Moscow's few opposition radio stations.