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Georgians Use Spam to Explain Their Situation

Gadi Evron

Call it outreach, call it propaganda or call it brilliance or even desperate measures, spammers (people) who favour the Georgian side in the recent conflict have been spamming using email, to get their point across.

Depending on where in the world you are from, your ideological standpoint on Russia and your beliefs, when it comes to what email should be like, can be different and you may judge the action as you will. I call it spam.

An Estonian colleague Viktor Larionov was quoted saying that whether there is a cyber war in Georgia or not, we know there is in fact a media war in play just by switching channels between CNN, SkyNews and the two main Russian television channels ORT and NTV. Both sides portraying different facts and opinions.

Spammers are people too, and just like some Russian and Georgian citizens decided to throw cyber rocks at each other's web sites. One Georgian citizen supposedly from France decided to do his bit in sending bulk unsolicited email.

Just yesterday, a different colleague by the name of Hugo van der Kooij found the following in his inbox:

My name is Luka Adikashvili, I own a double citizenship - Georgian and French. I am a student in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Three days ago, Georgian armed forces started an operation aiming to regain control on it's revolted region - South Ossetia. I must admit that the names "South Ossetia" and "North Ossetia (a part of Russia)" have been artificially created during the soviet years. There has NEVER been, in the world's history, an Ossetian Republic. At first, Georgian troops took Tshkinvali - the capital oF South Ossetian region. On August 8, 2008, Russian aircrafts started to bombard Georgia, even towns on about 200 kilometers from the battle front. Georgia is about 500 kilometers long and South Ossetia is in the middle of it. My country was getting bombarded all around it's territory. In Gori, the biggest town near South Ossetia, living buildings were bombarded. During the last night, 300 Russian tanks and about 10 000 of their soldiers stormed across the Georgian border and opened fire on Tskhinvali. which was at that time controlled by Georgian forces. Tskhinvali was under bombardment of Russian air forces during the whole night. As a result, the Georgian troops had to leave
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In my last post on the subject I said:

In my article "Fighting Botnets and Online Mobs” for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs covering the Internet war in Estonia, I state how our opponents will no longer be just countries, or even organizations as Martin van Creveld once predicted ahead of his time, but that on the Internet playing field any individual or loosely affiliated group can be a player, affecting countries and yes, corporations as well.

Indeed, it is not just Internet warfare that individuals can now influence, but also media warfare — and in a much more direct fashion than by commenting on their favorite forum or writing a blog post. With all the sympathy and empathy I can come up with for having defended Israel against many Internet attacks, I know I am blacklisting this spammer and hope he is prosecuted for spamming, if he is a real person — which I seriously doubt.

By Gadi Evron, Security Strategist
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Related topics: Cyberattack, Cybercrime, Email, Spam, Web
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After it's all over, there will be John Berryhill  –  Aug 14, 2008 12:04 PM PDT

After it's all over, there will be a new batch of widows seeking help in transferring their funds abroad…

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