İrem UZUN -TDO- A huge cyber-attack which knocked out more than 2,000 websites in the country of Georgia last year was carried out by Russia, according to Georgia, the UK and the US. Russia's Foreign Ministry denied any involvement, the RIA news agency said.
"On October 28, 2019, the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Main Center for Special Technologies carried out a widespread disruptive cyber attack against the country of Georgia," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "The United States calls on Russia to cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere," Pompeo said, adding, "We also pledge our support to Georgia and its people in enhancing their cybersecurity and countering malicious cyber actors". The UK similarly accused Russia of being behind the cyber attacks with the British Foreign Office saying the UK's National Cyber Security Centre "assesses with the highest level of probability" that the GRU carried out large-scale, disruptive cyber attacks. “These cyber-attacks are part of Russia's long-running campaign of hostile and destabilizing activity against Georgia," the statement added.
Georgia has a long history of conflict with Russia, both physical and digital. In 2008, Russia invaded the country with the supposed intention of protecting Russian-speaking minorities, seizing around 20 percent of Georgia's territory, which it still controls. That physical incursion was accompanied by a wave of relatively crude cyberattacks that defaced and took down Georgian websites, the first clear example in history of a "hybrid" war involving physical and digital attacks in combination.