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Hackers target OC Media with brute force attack

29 October 2020

A cyberattack against OC Media briefly took the website offline on Thursday.

For several hours the site was unreachable after being flooded with thousands of failed login attempts.

The attackers used a brute force attack in what appeared to be an attempt to gain access to the website. The site previously experienced difficulties on 5 October.

As of Thursday afternoon, OC Media’s technical team had resolved the issue, blocking the attack. OC Media were unable to identify who was behind the attack. 

Several websites in Armenia and Azerbaijan, including government agencies and news sites, have been targetted by cyberattacks since war broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on 27 September.

The editor-in-chief of OC Media’s English-language service, Robin Fabbro, said the timing of the attack suggested it was almost certainly connected with the war.

‘We have always strived to remain unbiased in our coverage of the war, accurately portraying the positions and actions of both sides. This has not always proved popular’, he said.

‘Our approach to this conflict, as with all the conflicts in the South Caucasus, has also been to highlight and promote voices calling for a peaceful resolution taking into consideration the rights of all those affected. This position has also, unfortunately,  proven to be controversial to some.’

[Read OC Media’s Voices for Peace series]

Update 12/11/20: The Cyber Security Department at Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has opened a criminal investigation into ‘unauthorised access to computer system’ as a result of the attack. The crime carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment if ‘committed by a group with preliminary agreement’.

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