The Russian government has been cleared of any direct involvement in cyber attacks on Georgia.
Project Grey Goose claimed that while Russian officials did little to discourage the online assault, it seems that it did not order the attacks.
The project was a effort by more than 100 security experts from tech giants like Microsoft and Oracle, as well as former members of the Defence Intelligence Agency, Lexis-Nexis, the Department of Homeland Security and defence contractor SAIC.
The investigation showed that the attacks were co-ordinated through a Russian online forum which was prepared with target lists and details about Georgian website vulnerabilities long before the two countries engaged in a brief but deadly ground, sea and air war.
Principal investigator Jeff Carr said the administrators of the hacker forum were keenly aware that American cyber sleuths were poking around and managed to shut them out.
However, before the door was slammed, investigators unearthed a top-down hierarchy of expert hackers who doled out target lists of Georgian government websites to novices.
Carr said that the level of advance preparation and reconnaissance suggests that Russian hackers were given information for the assault by officials within the Russian government and/or military. Despite this, Grey Goose members could find no direct link between Russian government officials and the forum administrators.
Carr also claimed that Russian politicians and military officials have previously endorsed co-ordinated cyber attacks against other nations as a show of nationalistic pride, and may have indirectly supported the attacks by giving the hackers intelligence.