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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cyberattack on Estonian: A Year Later

Cyberattack on Estonian: A Year Later

In April of 2007, a widespread Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Estonia’s government and banking Web sites took place. The attack seemed to have been motivated by the relocation of the "Bronze Soldier," a Soviet-era war memorial commemorating an unknown Russian who died fighting the Nazis. The move caused rioting by ethnic Russians and the blockading of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.

A DDoS attack is one in which a massive amount of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service and access for authorized users of the targeted system.

Shortly after the attack the US government sent security professionals experience in cyberattack, incident response and forensics analysis from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's US-CERT and the U.S. Secret Service to assist in analyzing the large volume of data that was generated by the attacks and with training on incident response and computer crime investigations.

In April of 2008, there is a strong chance on the anniversary month of last year’s attack, that we may see another attempt to bring down Estonia’s government and banking network again. The Estonian government should be on high alert by increasing monitoring and logging capabilities. In fact, all security centers world wide should be on alert as well to help prevent this event from taking place if an attack were to occur again.

Past case of a cyberattack:

The 2002 Olympics a few years ago with the Apolo Ohno controversy. (In 2002 at the Salt Lake City Games, Ohno won the gold medal in the 1,500-meter speed-skating race after South Korean Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified; soon after, several United States-based servers were hit with a DDoS attack from machines that appeared to be based in South Korea.)

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