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Security Expert: Russia Not Behind Cyberattacks on Estonia

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By Allan Holmes June 4, 2007

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The denial-of-service attacks aimed at bringing down Estonia's government systems did not come from Russia, as previously believed, according to a network security provider as reported by ITPro.

"The information collated by Arbor Networks showed that the source of attacks were worldwide rather than just from a few locations," according to the article. "The attackers used a giant network of botnets - perhaps as many as 1 million computers in places as far away as the U.S. and Vietnam, to increase the impact of the attack."

After the Estonian government removed a Russian statue from a square in the Estonian 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. The attacks were first reported as coming from Russia in retaliation for moving the statue, which raised questions about if and when cyberattacks are acts of war. Estonia is a former Soviet republic.

Jose Nazario, senior security engineer at Arbor Networks, said he believes the cyberattacks were not the result of retaliation from the Russian government because the attacks did not target Estonia's infrastructure. "Most of the attacks appeared more about making a statement at a high profile website or two than about disrupting Estonia's online life or economy," he said.

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