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Estonia Computers Blitzed, Possibly by the Russians
new york times ^ | May 19, 2007 | STEVEN LEE MYERS

Posted on 05/18/2007 9:58:51 PM PDT by george76

The computer attacks, apparently originating in Russia, first hit the Web site of Estonia’s prime minister on April 27, the day the country was mired in protest and violence. The president’s site went down, too, and soon so did those of several departments in a wired country that touts its paperless government and likes to call itself E-stonia.

Then the attacks, coming in waves, began to strike newspapers and television stations, then schools and finally banks, raising fears that what was initially a nuisance could have economic consequences.

The attacks have peaked and tapered off since then, but they have not ended, prompting officials there to declare Estonia the first country to fall victim to a virtual war.

“If you have a missile attack against, let’s say, an airport, it is an act of war,” a spokesman for the Estonian Defense Ministry, Madis Mikko, said Friday in a telephone interview. “If the same result is caused by computers, then how else do you describe that kind of attack?”

Officials in Estonia have accused Russia of orchestrating the attacks, officially or unofficially. They raised the issue at a meeting of NATO on Monday, with Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo saying that the alliance, which Estonia joined in 2004, needed to urgently debate the question — once seemingly a distant threat — of whether mass computer attacks posed a threat to national security.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: attacks; computer; computerattacks; estonia; nato
botnets ?

.

1 posted on 05/18/2007 9:58:53 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76
Here is the write up from GlobalGuerillas.com, the site focusing on so-called fourth generation warfare.

RUSSIA VS. ESTONIA: 21st Century State vs. State Conflict

What does "guerrilla" war between interdependent states look like in the 21st Century? Very much like the war now going on between Estonia and Russia. Russia is using the removal of a statue commemorating Russian war dead from Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) as a pretext to launch an information/economic war against Estonia in order to destabilize the state (the likely real reason is that Estonia is blocking the construction of a Baltic pipeline to Germany).

So far:

Oil shipments have been severed. Passenger rail service has been cut.

Flash mobs have been generated both in Moscow (against the Estonian embassy) and in Estonia (through the mobilization of ethnic Russians living there). These mobs have been energized by a Russian propaganda machine that depicts Estonia as a fascist antagonist of Russia.

Russian criminal bot networks (used for phishing and other types of criminal endeavors) have been rented to conduct denial of service attacks against Estonian government computers (to prevent normal functioning and stymie its ability to counter Russian propaganda)

Of course, Estonia like Singapore and other small states, do have substantial asymmetric advantages against larger more complex big states in this type of war, if they would only use them. The key is to make the decision to become a micro-power, which requires resilience and a capacity to enlist commercial partners in defensive/retaliatory warfare, before being subjected to assault.

Remember: Vulnerability to disruption accelerates with size while the capacity to disrupt (using these methods) is scale-free (based on self-replicating computer resources and thereby within the budget of any state, no matter how small

2 posted on 05/18/2007 10:33:40 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: george76
botnets ?

I'm not sure what the question mark was for, but here's the Wiki on botnets.

It's only wishful thinking and not practical, but it's too bad they don't declare open season on known spam servers, publish their addys, and declare them a free fire zone.

3 posted on 05/18/2007 10:43:40 PM PDT by David_G_Burnet
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