Estonian websites suffer wave of DoS attacks

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 17, 2007

Baltic republic accuses Russia of cyber-warfare.

A wave of denial of service (DoS) attacks on Estonian websites has prompted the Estonian government to accuse its neighbour of waging cyber-warfare and to call for better response mechanisms to cyber attacks within the EU.

Massive DoS attacks have been affecting Estonian websites for the last three weeks - having started at around the same time as the controversial move of a Soviet war memorial in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The relocation of the statue (from the centre of the capital to a military cemetery in the city's suburbs) sparked rioting among ethnic Russians living in Estonia and drew strong criticism from Moscow - accusing Estonia of dishonouring the memory of Soviet soldiers who fought against Nazi Germany in the second world war.

The DoS attacks have affected a large number of Estonia's state and commercial websites, including numerous banks, the presidential and parliamentary websites, those of various news organizations and communications services. According to the Estonian government, many of the attacks originated in Russia, some of them even being traceable to Russian state systems.

In an interview with The Times, Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet said 'When there are attacks coming from official IP addresses of Russian authorities and they are attacking not only our websites but our mobile phone network and our rescue service network, then it is already very dangerous. The largest part of these attacks are coming from Russia and from official servers of the authorities of Russia.'

Meanwhile, according to IDG News reports, a security officer for Estonia's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has played down the attacks, saying that although there is some indication that Russian hackers may be involved in the attacks, analysis of the malicious traffic shows that computers from the US, Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and others were also involved.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Moscow vehemently denies any involvement in the attacks on its neighbour. NATO computer security experts have now been deployed to Tallinn to study the impact of the attacks.

Posted on 17 May 2007 by Virus Bulletin

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