Monday, January 28, 2008

Remember the suspicious cyber-attack against Estonia?

Last spring, OOTJ reported that Russia was suspected of launching denial of service attacks against Estonia. The post linked to a BBC story about cyber-pirates attacking a variety of Estonian websites and online services, following shortly the removal of a Russian war memorial from Estonia. Though Russia officially denied their involvement, there were deep suspicions about the links.

Now a story comes out on Ars Technica, here stating that a single student was behind the rash of attacks.

As InfoWorld reports, an Estonian youth has been arrested for the attacks, and current evidence suggests he was acting independently—prosecutors in Estonia have stated they have no other suspects. Because the attacks were botnet-driven and launched from servers all over the globe, however, it's impossible to state definitively that only a single individual was involved.

Dmitri Galushkevich, a 20-year-old Estonian student, launched the DoS (denial-of-service) attacks from his own PC last year. Although he's a native Estonian, Galushkevich was angry over his government's plans to move the statue, and launched the attack as a means of protesting the decision. The fact that a single angry student was able to impact international relations between two countries is an startling development. (snip)

The fact that a single student was able to trigger such events is particularly ominous when you consider just how many potential flashpoints exist between various countries all over the world. The DoS attack against Estonia is an excellent example of how a cyberattack carried out by a 20-year-old student in response to real-life events further exacerbated an existing problem between two nations.
Here is a link to the full story on Infoworld, which is briefer than the Ars Technica post. Infoworld states that investigations are still under way to establish whether Galushkevich acted alone. Ars Technica, written by Joe Hruska, gives a nice background explaining the meaning of the Russian war memorial to ethnic Russian Estonians and to others Estonians who viewed the statue differently.

1 comment:

Spy Guy said...

A large number of Danish papers´ web versions have crashed. Suspicions immediately center on the hacker attacks being because of the Mohammed-drawings in Jyllands-Posten. ..

All the web media hit are hosted on the same servers at the internet company Metropol Online, owned by Berlingske (Danish publishing house). ..

Among the media hit is the homepage of Jyllands-Postens,, which creates suspicions, that hackers are trying to hit the paper as part of the row over the papers´ Mohammed-drawings.