On the Hacker Attacks against KZ.expert

Last week, KZ.expert experienced hacker attacks again. So far, they have been smaller and less sophisticated than the attacks against information-analytical media resource Respublika, nonetheless, they are getting more and more intense. And we have a feeling that this is just the beginning.  

This time, it is the English version of the website that has suffered the most; for a time, it was completely inaccessible to the reader. Apart from that, due to technical problems, we have not been able to recover some comments on our latest publications. 

In view of the escalation of the hacker attacks against KZ.expert, we cannot but ask ourselves who has ordered the them and why have they ordered them now?

At this point, we cannot give a valid answer to these questions. Therefore, we can only make guesses (not wild but political ones). After all, everything in Kazakhstan can be explained by political developments in the country and it is our specialty to analyse and comment on the latter.

On the other hand, all seems to be «quiet» in Akorda and and the Library nowadays. Yes, the country and most of its citizens are fighting the numerous hardships and problems (more often than not — unsuccessfully) albeit no kind of unusual political activity seems to be happening at this time.

Apart from that, KZ.expert is not a mass media organisation; on average, it releases one material per day and is not engaged in political propaganda (not to mention in urging the people to take to the streets and organise protests).

In other words, the Kazakh authorities do not seem to have any reason to «silence» the resource, particularly in the same harsh, vigorous and constant manner as they used to silence Respublika (first, the newspaper, then the website). Therefore, we have reason to suspect individual weighty figures and high-rank officials mentioned in our publications.

Meanwhile, there are some curious features to the current hacker attacks on KZ.expert. As a rule, they begin after we release some high-profile material and continue for three or four days until, as the ordering customer seems to believe, the hype dies down. Apart from that, we have been observing regular attempts to slow down the indexation of our publications by the search engines.

As our IT-specialists have noticed, the game plan of these attacks is usually the same: first, they attempt to «test» KZ.expert by launching small attacks of the same level. Then (usually, in the night-time) they start trying to «crash» the website by launching attacks with a capacity of several tens of millions site searches per second.

So, who is attacking KZ.expert?

In our opinion, it can be the Kazakh secret service agencies that have seriously increased their capabilities to block Internet-resources disliked by Akorda and the Library.  

Or else, it can be the «heroes» of our articles considering that the price for hacker attacks has dropped significantly during the past decade and they do not cost much to high-rank officials or the affiliated businessmen.

As for the second scenario, we do not see a point in even trying to identify the ordering customer (organiser) of the attacks since, to do so, we will have to «thumb through» practically the entire top of the Kazakh ruling elite.

The first scenario, however, makes us wonder — what are the NSC and its technical services afraid of to such a degree?

Is their fear caused by certain topics of is it their general tactics of blocking all the Russian-language Internet-resources that, in their opinion, are capable of releasing sensitive information on Akorda and the Library, on political and business-interests of their «residents», on corruption schemes; of recalling their past and the ways in which they stole from country and its people in order to become rich and influential?

In our opinion based on a vast personal experience of «interacting» with the Kazakh autocracy and the «super-presidential» vertical, it is this scenario that seems most likely. It looks like Akorda and the Library are preparing for some events that they wish to undergo without problems; and, in order to do so, they must block, even if for a short time, all the resources that are capable of creating them.

Therefore, we recommend to everyone who, one way or another, opposes the current Kazakh authorities or holds their own view and is capable of articulating it to be more careful and get ready for intensified hacker attacks.


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