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The Cyber Attack Report on Georgia

Registan.net has posted up a nine-page executive summary of a long report compiled by John Bumgarner of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit.  Steve LeVine at Oil and Glory talked with and analyzed the results…  which show that complicity with the government in the cyber attack on Georgia was highly likely, and, in fact, it could have been much, much worse (just as the Russian air strikes purposely bombed all around the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline without hitting it to prove the point.

From Oil and Glory:

Yet, the cyber attackers did not go in for the kill, Bumgarner told me — they didn’t attempt to cripple sites that could have caused chaos or injury, such as those linked to power stations or oil-delivery facilities, but merely those that could trigger comparative “inconvenience.” “There was a political decision not to attack those critical infrastructures directly. They made the point that they could launch these attacks. They showed they have the capability to do more,” Bumgarner said. (…)

Indeed the cyber attack fit into an overall Russian strategycentered on Georgia’s oil infrastructure, Bumgarner concludes. Itsucceeded, in Bumgarner’s view. “Unstable ground conditions, augmentedby cyber attacks, soon made all of the Georgian pipelines seemunreliable,” he writes.

Certainly that was the impact for thefirst weeks and months — Russia demonstrated that the pipeline wasvulnerable, not to mention dispelling the illusion that Georgia enjoyedspecial Western protection.

To a large degree, that remainsthe fact on the ground — Georgia and the other former Soviet states ofthe Caucasus and Central Asia are far more deferential toward Russianwishes. Yet the oil and gas continues to flow.