2009-10-23 / Helix Consulting company's director Aram Mkhitaryan and Armenian PR Association deputy chairman Arman Saghatelyan gave a press conference concerning the cyber attacks from Azeri and Turkish hackers on Armenian websites.
Armenian experts in the information sphere view the current “information war” as a continual process, with no hope or prospect of signing a peace deal one day. They say, however, in many aspects today it reminds of a situational rather than full-blown war. Speaking about the state of the Armenian websites that in August came under cyber attacks from Azeri and Turkish hackers, Helix Consulting company head Aram Mkhitaryan says: “Corresponding action have taken then to prevent such attacks. One should be ready all the time. I place great importance on the skill of specialists working in the information sector.” According to the expert, the next wave of hacker attacks is expected in December, which is connected with the holiday season. Experience shows, he says, that attacks are mainly launched on Fridays as in this case specialists get down to work to redress the situation with a two-day delay. Specialists of the sphere say the Armenian side has had some serious success on the “Azerbaijani front” of the information war, especially in the recent period. Armenian PR Association deputy chairman Arman Saghatelyan says that there is a concept on information security approved by the president of the republic, which is also a serious factor in this success. “In the information war with Azerbaijan the Armenian side currently manages to defend its own positions and has made obvious progress. We cannot, however, say the same about the ‘Armenian-Turkish front’,” says Saghatelyan. Experts say their policies on information security are not conditioned by whether there is an attack or not. They say they should be on the standby anyway. “It is yet early to speak about large-scale activities, but, nevertheless, there is a danger. Now attempts of ‘skirmishes’ are being made in the field of the information standoff, that is on the level of ‘fire exchange from the trenches’,” he says. According to experts, at this moment they cannot speak about serious, large-scale ‘combat operations’ in the information field. There is some movement forward and back, and sometimes there is an ‘exchange of fire’ from those positions. “If it were in an active phase, there would have been a planned, large-scale information propaganda war,” says Saghatelyan. Nevertheless, Saghatelyan thinks that Armenia must respond to information war challenges, since the country has obvious interests and dangers in the information sphere. Saghatelyan also measures progress in the sphere by the increase in the number of websites (five or six times). He also says that there is a certain similarity between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the internet development sphere. While Turkey stands out due to its large information field that receives huge financial resources. “However, the main advantage in information conflicts is that ‘rich or poor’, ‘small or big’ doesn’t matter here,” says Saghatelyan.