Eight Internet sites operated by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were knocked out or affected in recent days by what the broadcaster calls an "unprecedented cyberattack." Welcome to the front lines of the 21st century's information wars.
The likely source of the cyberstrike is Europe's longest-ruling dictator, Belarus's Aleksander Lukashenko. The Web site of RFE/RL's Belarusan-language service on Saturday was brought down by 50,000 "fake hits" a second. The Minsk regime may have wanted to limit access to coverage of opposition protests. Saturday marked the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl accident and the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.
In the old days, the Soviets and their satellites jammed radio broadcasts. "They did not succeed in the last century and they will not succeed now," Jeffrey Gedmin, RFE/RL president, said yesterday. The cyberattacks spread to the Iranian, Russian and other Web sites of the radios' local-language stations. By last night, the sites were back up.
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