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Cyber attack on Radio Svoboda websites


Most of the websites of 18 services of Radio Svoboda / Radio Free Europe were attacked from early Saturday and some of them were totally unavailable.

The attack, unprecedented in scale, was first aimed at the Belarusian Service, but soon hit other sites also. Over several hours eight sites, including the Belarusian and Russian services were down. Access to other services was also more difficult.

The President of Radio Svoboda / Radio Free Europe expressed deep concern over the attack and stressed that there would be no need for these radio stations if there were free and independent media outlets in the countries where they broadcast. He said that the Belarusian and Iranian authorities were now doing much the same as the Soviets had once done.  They understood, he said, that information was like oxygen to civic society and were prepared to do anything to cut this off.

Such DDOS attacks, like that on our sites in December, inundate the server with requests from “zombie” computers with this effectively paralyzing the server and preventing the sites from opening. 

Radio Svoboda has faced this form of attack before, but never of such intensity..

Saturday was, of course, the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster and many thousands of people gathered in Minsk to protest against the lack of compensation to victims of Chernobyl and against the plans of the authorities to build another nuclear power station.

From Saturday other opposition Belarusian sites also faced cyber attacks including that of Charter 97.

However, when the attack began, other independent Belarusian sites began publishing news and material from Belarusian Radio Svoboda.

The radio stations are all now running.

Based on information from the Ukrainian service of Radio Svoboda

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