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More on Cyberwar


By Allan Holmes September 21, 2010

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The debate about what constitutes a cyberwar still rages on. The latest installment comes from a conference put on by cybersecurity vendor ArcSight on Monday in National Harbor, Md., where Eneken Tikk, head of the legal and policy branch of the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, discussed the 2007 attacks on that country's networks.

Shortly after Estonia officials removed a Russian statue from a square in the capital, several Estonian ministries came under denial-of-service attacks, in which computers worldwide sent huge amounts of data into the ministries' networks, overloading the systems. Other systems supporting Estonian banks and media companies also were attacked. But Tikk said the hits didn't constitute a legal definition of cyberwar, IDG News reported.

She defined cyberwar as an attack that would cause the same type of destruction as the traditional military, with military force as an appropriate response. "That means a smoking hole in the ground," said Tikk.


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