Russian government websites have been subjected to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. It is unclear who directed the attack and whether it managed to disrupt the sites. According to cybersecurity researchers, the Russian government appears to be applying a protective technical measure known as geofencing in order to block access to certain sites from areas outside of Russia’s sphere of influence.
“Based on the data we received, traffic to Mil.Ru apparently administratively blocked from outside Russia”, — reported specialist from the company Kentik Doug Madory (Doug Madory).
The site administrators have configured the servers in such a way that they do not actually show the contents of the website to people trying to access it from abroad. Foreign Internet users receive an HTTP 418 error notification.
Originated as a Google hoax in the late 90s, server 418 errors are not part of any official standard. Such errors are usually used in response to DDoS attacks and attempts to parse sites or APIs – as a way to inform attackers that their actions have been detected and are being actively blocked.
Russian government websites were also not the only ones that also suffered DDoS attacks on Thursday. Madori said he also observed traffic reflecting apparent attacks aimed at major Russian banks Sberbank and Alfabank.