December 30, 2016 by Daisy Luther
Just hours after announcing the government intended to punish Russia for “interfering in the presidential election,” Drudge Report, a massive news aggregator with over 3 million page views per day, was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The attack occurred just minutes after people started reporting that the Russian state-run news network RT was “unavailable” in parts of the United States.
It doesn’t stretch the imagination too considerably to believe that both RT and Drudge being simultaneously taken down was linked to Obama’s announcement just hours earlier. The US government has been trying in vain to regain control of the official narrative, but citizen journalists, independent media, and sources from outside the country have been strong influences ever since the MSM was completely discredited as a mouthpiece during the election.
Numerous reports of Russian state-run Network RT being unavailable. Drudge Report also under “Biggest DDoS attack since site’s inception” pic.twitter.com/okysbtDEKv
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) 30 December 2016
A report in IBTimes stated:
A large-scale distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, can cause major Internet disruptions. In the past, such attacks have shut down major websites such as Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, and Reddit. The attack sends a server many illegitimate requests to make it hard for real requests to get through, effectively shutting down the site.
Drudge Report was down briefly around 7 p.m. EST, but working hours later. The top headline read: “MOSCOW MOCKS OBAMA ‘LAME DUCK’” Meanwhile, the conservative Washington Times wrote: “Matt Drudge suggests U.S. government cyberattack on Drudge Report website. DDoS attack comes same day Obama announced countermeasures against Russia for hacking of Democrats.”
Conservatives on Twitter also accused the government of shutting down the Russian news website, RT. “Numerous reports of Russian state-run Network RT being unavailable. Drudge Report also under ‘Biggest DDoS attack since site’s inception,’” wrote one user.
No one has claimed responsibility for the takedown of the two sites.
This is an attack on non-state journalism.
If a site as huge as Drudge Report can be taken down on a whim, this doesn’t bode well for the little guys in independent media. It’s outrageously expensive to defend a website against attacks like this. The monthly server costs alone for a well-protected setup could be in the tens of thousands, an amount that few of us have in the budget.
After the ridiculous accusations of fake news and Russian propaganda, one has to wonder if website attacks will be the next effort to drive independent media out of business.
Russia is ticked off but keeping it classy.
Russia is getting fed up. Today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov requested that President Vladimir Putin gives permission for 35 US diplomats to be expelled from Russian soil.
To the astonishment of many, Vladimir Putin refused the request.
… in a stunning reversal, the Russian leader took the high road, rejected the Lavrov proposal, and in a statement posted by the Kremlin said that Russia won’t expel any Americans in retaliation to US moves, in a brutal demonstration of just how irrelevant Obama’s 11th hour decision is for US-Russian relations…
In the just released statement, Putin laughed off Obama’s 11th hour temper tantrum, and said that Russia won’t cause problems to U.S. diplomats or deport anyone, adding that Russia has the right to respond in tit-for-tat manner, but it will not engage in irresponsible diplomacy.
The punchline, however, was saved for what may be Russia’s final slam of the debacle that is Obama’s administration saying that “It’s a pity that the current U.S. administration is finishing their work in such a manner” saying that Russia refuses “to sink to the level of this irresponsible “kitchen” diplomacy.”
Putin ended the statement by congratulating U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and the American people on the New Year and invited the hildren of US diplomats to a holiday celebration at the Kremlin.(source)
This administration is an international embarrassment.
It seems that Obama, in the final days of his administration, is hellbent on causing as much international bad feeling and disruption as possible.
- Obama and his cronies are mad that Putin and Trump will most likely get along better than he ever did with the Russian
- They are upset that the Turkey-Russia ceasefire in Syria – brokered and implemented without a huge amount of fanfare a la John Kerry, was arranged with no US involvement whatsoever.
- They still can’t get over the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election.
- And finally, they are angry that the Electoral College didn’t play ball and make waves in their allocation of votes.
The BBC World Service has reported that the Russians expelled from the United States are struggling to get flights during the holiday period. Making these individuals persona non grata means they have to leave US soil within 72 hours of the order.
Russian media say the Russians facing expulsion from the embassy in Washington are struggling to buy plane tickets because flights are full ahead of the New Year holiday.
They will be forced to travel to New York, where their chances of finding plane seats are better, an “informed source” told Interfax news agency.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has denied a report by CNN that Moscow is shutting down a school attended by diplomats’ children.
She said it was a “lie” that the Anglo-American School faced closure as retaliation.
Meanwhile, the Russian embassy to the UK tweeted a visual gag calling the Obama presidency a lame duck.
President Obama expels 35 ?? diplomats in Cold War deja vu. As everybody, incl ?? people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless Adm. pic.twitter.com/mleqA16H8D
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) 29 December 2016
MFA: American people humiliated by its own President pic.twitter.com/Ka9ThFSlkp
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) 30 December 2016
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zhakarova took off the gloves with several statements, telling us how Russia really feels about Obama.
“We have been saying this all along, people [who] inhabited the White House for 8 years are not Administration but a bunch of foreign policy losers, angry and primitive. Today, Obama admitted this officially. The most amazing thing is that, having not been able to write down into the history of the Presidency any achievements on international arena, the Nobel Prize Laureate managed to put a fat blob instead of elegant dot…Today, America, American people were humiliated by their own President. Not by international terrorists or foreign enemy’s troops. It’s a curtain time. [The] ugly show is over. The whole world, from stalls to the gallery, had been watching the crashing blow to the prestige of America and to its leadership, caused by Barak Obama and his illiterate foreign policy team that opened to the world her biggest secret—exclusiveness was a mask for helplessness. And no enemy of the United States could have done worse damage.”
Sadly, Russia may be right. The world has watched aghast at the antics of Clinton supporters and at the last ditch attempts of President Obama to leave the worst legacy possible for his replacement.
What a sad state of affairs.
Here’s What Russia Had to Say About Obama, Hacking Accusations, and US Sanctions
President Obama and the US Congress have taken drastic measures to provoke Russia during the last days of the administration. They’ve accused Russia of interfering with the election in an attempt to delegitimize Trump’s election and they kicked 35 Russian diplomats and their families out of the US today. (Get more details here.)
Congressmen on both sides of the aisle are chomping at the bit, positively salivating over the idea of war with Russia. Today, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed his
delight support of Obama’s actions.
“Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world,” Ryan said shortly after the White House announced the punishments. “While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. And it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world.”
Russia is getting fed up. Today, in a statement, a spokesperson for the Russian government said, chillingly, “We can only add that if Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer.”
Here’s the entire statement from Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The outgoing US administration has not given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed. Using obviously inspired leaks in the US media, it is trying to threaten us again with expansion of anti-Russian sanctions, “diplomatic” measures and even subversion of our computer systems. Moreover, this final New Year’s “greeting” from Barack Obama’s team, which is already preparing to leave the White House, is being cynically presented as a response to some cyber-attacks from Moscow.
Frankly speaking, we are tired of lies about Russian hackers that continue to be spread in the United States from the very top. The Obama administration launched this misinformation half a year ago in a bid to play up to the required nominee at the November presidential election and, having failed to achieve the desired effect, has been trying to justify its failure by taking it out with a vengeance on Russian-US relations.
However, the truth about the White House-orchestrated provocation is bound to surface sooner or later. In fact, this is already happening. On December 8, US media quoted Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp as saying that the local authorities tracked down the origin of a hacker attack on his voter registration database after the election. The attack was traced to an IP address of the Department of Homeland Security. This was followed by an attempt to quickly cover up this information by a flood of new anti-Russian accusations that did not contain a single piece of evidence.
We can only add that if Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer. This applies to any actions against Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, which will immediately backfire at US diplomats in Russia. The Obama administration probably does not care at all about the future of bilateral relations, but history will hardly forgive it for this après-nous-le-deluge attitude.