|Cyber-warfare on an unprecedented scale has hammered Estonian web sites for the last two weeks in the aftermath of the government's controversial decision to relocate a Soviet-era war monument from the center of Tallinn to the suburbs. Two days of rioting by ethnic Russians, who saw this as an attack on their heritage and on minority rights, quickly transitioned from the real to the virtual world, as government web sites came under DDoS attacks so severe that many agencies shut off access to IP addresses outside Estonia for several days.|
The Economist piece quoted a senior official in Brussels who questioned whether a cyber-attack should be counted as a military act. "If the member state's communications center is attacked with a missile," said the source, "you call it an act of war. So what do you do if the same installation is disabled with a cyber-attack?" A spokesman for Estonia's defense ministry likens the attacks against his country to the September 11 attacks in the US.
That's because some analysts and Estonian authorities are claiming that the attacks originate within Russia, and come from Russian government IP addresses.
|Estonia asserts that Russians were behind the attacks, but Mikko HyppÃ¶nen of F-Secure, a Finnish security company, isn't fully convinced. He told Helsingin Sanomat, "In practice there is just one IP address that leads to a government computer. It is of course possible that an attack was launched from there, too, but the person behind it could be anyone, from the son of some ministerial janitor upwards." And full-scale DDoS attacks can originate from botnets of machines around the world, making the controller almost impossible to locate.|
If Russia really is behind this it will represent the first public nation vs nation cyber attack. This could be huge