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Russia Accused of Cyber-War Against Estonia

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the deniability dept.

Security 373

earthlingpink writes about the ongoing DDoSing of Estonia. The Guardian is reporting that Russia stands accused of engaging in a three-week-long series of cyber-attacks. Government, banking, and media websites have been targeted. It is unclear whether the attacks are sanctioned or initiated by the Russian Government, but Estonian authorities believe that to be the case. NATO has sent security experts to Tallinn to help beef up defenses. The Estonian defense minister said, "At present, NATO does not define cyber-attacks as a clear military action. This means that the provisions of... collective self-defense, will not automatically be extended to the attacked country... this matter needs to be resolved in the near future."

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373 comments

Sexist/Agist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160237)

From the article:

of course, they don't have women doing this, since they aren't technicall able.

As a feminist and mother, I find this offensive.

Re:Sexist/Agist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160381)

What...the fuck are you talking about? Please show me where they said this or even implied this or does being a feminist give you megical powers to find discrimination where there isn't any.

Re:Sexist/Agist (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160429)

What?

Paragraph and line number, please. It appears to me as though you've invented your accusation out of whole cloth.

Re:Sexist/Agist (1)

mtm_king (99722) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160743)

I think it GP is Andy666. He/she has been posting about sexism lately.

I know - off topic.

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160473)

This isn't actually a quote from the article.

Re:Sexist/Agist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160539)

Yeah, like the leftist Guardian would insert that in there. Maybe you're reading the Daily Mail's article?

Re:Sexist/Agist (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160553)

Wow, the naïvete of Slashdot moderators continues to amaze me. This is perhaps the most obvious troll I have ever seen(because the quote is a complete fabrication and feminism is fairly unpopular on Slashdot), obviously posted in a hurry to get first post, and it's moderated Insightful?

Re:Sexist/Agist (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161961)

Shut the fuck up bitch! And get me a beer!

In Soviet Russia (1, Funny)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160239)

In Soviet Russia, government cyber-attacks you.

Re:In Soviet Russia (2, Funny)

ArchdukeChocula (1096375) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160287)

Differing from Soviet America how?

Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (-1, Redundant)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160241)

NATO should tread cautiously on this one, lest they end up in a cyber quagmire. And what kind of rations do you feed a cyber soldier, anyway? Do we need cyber medics, cyber support units, a cyber mess hall?

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160339)

One could argue that the entire world is in a constant state of cyber-war.

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161815)

Great, then next we could overstate everything until we completely lose our senses.

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (2, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160377)

And what kind of rations do you feed a cyber soldier, anyway? Do we need cyber medics, cyber support units, a cyber mess hall?
An unending supply of coffee and some of those cool amphetamines they give to marines and fighter pilots should do the trick.

Cyber rations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160383)

Mt. Dew, Snickers, Doritos, etc.

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (2, Funny)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160577)

And do we really want our tax money buying cyber prostitutes to give our cyber soldiers computer viruses?

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (0)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161511)

Cyber war, famine and death - lets say in something like Second life - is considerably preferable to actually killing people in real life. (ask an Iraqi which he'd prefer)

If this is the future of warfare, then that's progress. Though, real peace and cyber peace would be the Utopian dream.

Re:Should a cyber war require a cyber retaliation? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161211)

And what kind of rations do you feed a cyber soldier, anyway?

High doses of caffeine, of course. Or what kind of person do you think would be a soldier in that war, huh?

I can confirm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160265)

As an American-Estonian (1/3 Estonian on my Mother's side), I can confirm that Russia has been attacking my programming project, making it impossible to debug. And THAT boss is why the project isn't done yet! What can I do when all of Russia is against me?

Where did I hear about this attack? Uh.. slashd... an on-line news source specializing in technical news of course!

Re:I can confirm (5, Funny)

mfarah (231411) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160865)

As an American-Estonian (1/3 Estonian on my Mother's side),

How can you be ONE THIRD something? I'd understand 1/2 or 1/4 or 1/8 (etc.)

Or, perhaps, you're 1/3 SWEDISH. }:->

(I know I'd be downmodded for this, but I HAD to say it)

Re:I can confirm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161083)

1/3 is binary 0.0101010101... , so obviously his grandfather, great-great-grandfather, great-great-great-great-grandfather and (great-great-)^n grandfather are all Estonian, while the rest of his relatives are completely !Estonian.

Re:I can confirm (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161869)

..or to put it another way: if ten generations before his ancestors (in total 1024 individuals) included 341 Estonians his genetic makeup would consist of 33.30078125% Estonian genes, which is about 1/3. Furthermore, this doesn't take into account that not all genes have the same probability of being transmitted to the coming generations, e.g. if his grandmother had 1/2 Estonian genes it is possible that he himself inherited 2/3 of her Estonian genes making him 1/3 Estonian.

Re:I can confirm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161161)

Because my Mother is 2/3 Estonian. Duh!

Re:I can confirm (3, Funny)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161197)

How can you be ONE THIRD something? I'd understand 1/2 or 1/4 or 1/8 (etc.)

Ménage à trois? ;)

Re:I can confirm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161513)

Well, you see, the GP indicates he's at least part American- we still haven't made that transition to the metric system, remember? In SI units, 1/3 Estonian converts to 250.0 millibaltics, or 1/4. That, or the GP is a freakish chimera.

Nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161327)

I read on-line news sources specializing in technical news too.
-Your boss

I, for one... (-1, Offtopic)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160321)

...volunteer myself for Operation Screaming Fist, whenever they're ready to move out. Just give me my glider and my Ono-Sendai IX and I'll be ready to go.

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161125)

nice neuromancer ref

Re:I, for one... (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161251)

Just watch out for that black ice, man, or you might find yourself with half a face getting shot down in Finland.

Why Is This In Politics??!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160333)

According to the Slashdot FAQ, the politics section is for stories related to US Government politics. This story about Russia vs. Estonia in no way relates to the US at all.

Why does kdawson continue to flout the rules so blatantly like this? This site isn't a political blog for him.

Re:Why Is This In Politics??!!! (5, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160991)

The world does not evolve around America kiddy wink!

The politics section originally started out I believe a year or two ago to cover the election and resulting aftermath of "ZOMG BUSH GOT LESS VOTES!" type story. It has since become a more rounded section and carries stories from all over the world under it's banner, because you know "Stuff that matters" is quite often political.

I mean when people start having wars via the Internet (as this rather implies is happening in some twisted form) it starts to effect us geeks as well. So we discuss it on Slashdot and because it's political based they used the politics banner.

I feel sorry for you if you can't see that the FAQ maybe outdated and this has been this way for a good few months (maybe 12+) now, so decide to grind your axe on a stone that's been here longer than you probably have (Anoncow has no ID so I can't tell from your number, but I have to assume you're new if you don't understand the politics section).

From the FAQ: Read it and Weep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161271)

From the FAQ: [slashdot.org]This section is for news relevant to United States government politics.

There it is, clear as day, no wiggle room whatsover. I win, you lose.

It has only become more "rounded" because trolls like kdawson and zonk use this section as their own soapbox.

Bottom line, slashdot shouldn't try to cover world politics, they are nitwits at that sort of thing.

Re:Why Is This In Politics??!!! (4, Funny)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161587)

The world does not evolve around America kiddy wink!
Of course not. Real Americans don't believe in evolution.

Re:Why Is This In Politics??!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161963)

So I guess the USA doesn't have to pay any attention to NATO policy?

Re:Why Is This In Politics??!!! (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161989)

Don't know about you but my address bar shows it.slashdot.org, not politics.slashdot.org. Therefore, the politics tag does not imply that a given story is in the politics section.

China has been at cyber-war with US for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160375)

"At present, NATO does not define cyber-attacks as a clear military action"

They need to - we've been under attack from China for years and they're getting away with it.

Re:China has been at cyber-war with US for some ti (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160465)

Shh.... you shouldn't piss off the makers of our cheap plastic Happy Meal toys and inexpensive flat-screen TV's. I'm sure they're just searching for information on our networks that would enable them to get the price of a DVD player in Wal-Mart below $20.

Russia or Russians? (3, Insightful)

grev (974855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160421)

Are they accusing the Russian government of perpetrating this attack, or are they stating that this attack is coming from Russian soil?

Re:Russia or Russians? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161061)

The first attacks come from Russia's governmental institutions, but later from typical rented botnets. The big question is why would, say romanian cybercriminals waste their botnets for something like that. No gain. Of course it is very hard to prove that the Russian government is behind this (it could be also some rich "patriotic" russian mobster). Russia denies involvement, but then again they are not also imposing trade sanctions neither... NOT. Oil and coal transit has de facto stopped, estonian goods are banned from shops, border closed for big trucks etc.

Re:Russia or Russians? (1)

Vicarius (1093097) | more than 6 years ago | (#19162061)

The big question is why would, say romanian cybercriminals waste their botnets for something like that. No gain.
Virus writers often have "no gain" either. Just because we do not see that "gain", does not mean that they are doing (or not) something for a visible material gain.

Additionally you may not know the whole story of what and why is happening. Estonians pissed of Russia by removing one of old WW2 memorials - which is very touchy subject for many people over there. So what you got in the end is a lot of pissed off hackers with tons of free time. I highly doubt that Russian government needed to provide any incentive on top of what Estonians did.

Re:Russia or Russians? (4, Informative)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161183)

According to rumor, Russia has been up to a lot of subterfuge in Estonia lately.

It didn't make US news, of course, but Estonia just had some of the first riots in their capital, Talin. Lately, the Estonian government has been removing Soviet war memorials because, well, they partly respresented the Soviets ruling their country. Just like the Russians have been doing in Moscow, they remove them all and have a single statue garden (they are historical, after all).

However, when they removed one statue of a Soviet soldier in a cemetary, thousands of Russians living in Estonia started protesting. Now, maybe the Russian population just liked that particular statue, but there were rumors that Russian agents were stirring up trouble just to stir up trouble.

Russia's been flexing its muscles across Eastern Europe again. They've been punishing "bad" countries which disobey them. First the riots (which were suspected to be caused by Moscow), now cyber attacks. Neither are outright military moves, but they sure as hell get the message across.

Combined with the recent crackdown on free media and opposition in Russia, it sounds like life might get interesting in 5 years. It seems that, with America's short attention span focused on Iraq, Russia has been putting the pieces in place to recapture former glory.

Do you think that after 50 years that Boris the Soviet simply retired to the countryside? Or has he just been waiting patient for the right opportunity?

Maybe I just haven't had enough coffee this morning to make the conspiracy theories go away.

Re:Russia or Russians? (4, Insightful)

niiler (716140) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161585)

As an Estonian-American, I can confirm that we Estonians are a might bit riled up about the Russians. On June 13-14, 1941 huge numbers of Estonians were forcibly deported to Siberia. Another deportation occurred in 1949. Then Russians were imported to re-occupy many of the vacant households. Estonians view this as a sort of ethnic cleansing. Estonians were forced to speak Russian in the school system and all traces of their former nationalism were banned. To put it bluntly, many Estonians viewed the occupations under Stalin (and later) as being the worst thing to ever happen to the country (including the Nazi occupation). Putting up Russian war monuments on Estonian soil was insulting to boot. Now the Russians are riled that the Estonians want to move such monuments from their places of prominence (not destroy, mind you, but move). Considering what Estonians have suffered at the hands of Russians, we tend to think that the Russians have no ground to lodge any kind of complaint.

Re:Russia or Russians? (-1, Flamebait)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161687)

How dare you call it 'occupation'??

Stalin was just undoing mistakes of his predecessors - including giving independency from Russian Empire to Estonia in 1918.

OS (-1, Troll)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160477)

I guess the systems they're attacking aren't windows or that would have been mentioned first.

"Windows flaws lead to Estonian network collapse! Who cares who it's sent by!" ;)

The real outcome of the attacks (3, Interesting)

Mario21 (310404) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160491)

By now, most of the sites under attack have been blocked to the outside traffic. That by itself means the attacks have been successful, information from Estonian government stays in the country.

How would you you fight a DDoS attack and make sure all non-bot users have access?

Re:The real outcome of the attacks (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160569)

How would you you fight a DDoS attack and make sure all non-bot users have access?
Some sort of high-bandwidth gateway featuring a captcha?

Re:The real outcome of the attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19162007)

>> How would you you fight a DDoS attack and make sure all non-bot users have access?
>
> Some sort of high-bandwidth gateway featuring a captcha?

Abbyy Software House is a world leader in OCR development (they maker the FineReader product family). They are based in Russia ...

Caught ya ...

Common Sense (-1, Troll)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160507)

Computer "attacks" are a made up boogeyman. They're bullshit. As most slashdotters know, computer "attacks" ALWAYS depend on flaws, usually bugs, in the target system. A computer system that has airtight data handling cannot be hacked. Period. Even DDoS attacks depend on flaws in the network, as well as zombie computers that could only be taken over because they are running insecure software.

The Estonians need to shut up and fix their systems.

A cyber attack is no more an act of war than a few eggs thrown over a fence.

Re:Common Sense (5, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160651)

You haven't got a clue.

A DDOS attack is basically an attempt to saturate the capacity of the target. The "distributed" part means that it is difficult to screen out the attackers because the machines are on so many different subnets. The flaws that a DDOS relies on are not in the attacked systems, but in the attacking ones which have been compromised and have had software installed that makes them a "bot". A network of these "bots" are then coordinated by the attacker.

And if you think that shutting down the websites of pretty much every government institution, bank and commercial enterprise in a highly connected country like Estonia amounts to "a few eggs thrown over the fence" then just think what it would do your nations economy.

Re:Common Sense (-1, Troll)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161577)

"just think what it would do your nations economy."

And there it is. The tie-in with the everpresent threat af foriegn attacks against "a" government. "See waht those Russians did to the Estonians? See? See? IT COULD HAPPEN HERE, TOO!"

What exactly do you propose the governments do about these attacks? This will be a NATO issue and that means the Big, Bad U.S. of A. will get involved. Let's face it, that means civil liberties will be eroded even more.

For the love of freedom, just patch the boxes and shut up!

Re:Common Sense (3, Informative)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#19162023)

For the love of freedom, just patch the boxes and shut up!

You just don't get it do you? A DDOS is not indicative of a flaw in the systems under attack, it is using the regular means of access to the systems (HTTP requests mostly) but doing it on a massive scale from machines around the world taht have been compromised. Or are you suggesting that Estonian sysadmins perform the impossible and patch all these lousy Windows boxes on various ISP accounts around the world?

Unless you've experienced a large scale DDOS or read the detailed summary of how one was handled then all I can suggest is looking at some descriptions of what a DDOS is. Wikipedia is a good start. Our Payment Service Provider received a blackmail threat a couple of years ago, and then experienced a massive ten day long DDOS attack. Once it was over they provided us with a very detailed account of the attack. What impressed me was the sheer number of machines used in the attack and how evenly spread around the world they were. Trying to contact the relevant sysadmins or ISPs for these machines was simply not feasible.

Re:Common Sense (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160657)

Wow, that's an incredibly naive point of view.

Always depends on bugs? Well, that's sometimes true, but you make it sound like a piece of cake to eliminate bugs. We've had computers around for a good number of years now, and that hasn't happened yet! Even a project like OpenBSD has had several SEVERE flaws over its lifespan in the core software--not counting flaws in typical addon software. (This is not meant to attack OpenBSD because I think frankly it's the best we've got! I use it on my firewall..)

Not to mention, an "attack" can be so much more than those things. Trojans. Physical security breaches. Social engineering.

Look, if this stuff was easy, then there would be no one hack attacks, no ddos attacks, etc, EVER. There clearly are, so it's clearly not easy.

Re:Common Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160675)

I agree that DDoS attaks depend on flaws in the network... but that network is Internet... and you cant just say "everyone c'mon... buy new routers!"

What if Iran would take down all US banks, newssites (includeing this one) and goverment pages... thats what basically happened in estonia. It is not a direct act of war (by laws, yet) but it definately isnt compareable to throwing eggs over fence

Re:Common Sense (5, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160759)

The problem is the flaws that are being attacked aren't necessarily resident on the machines being attacked - as you know, since you mention zombie computers.

But that doesn't make cyber attack bullshit. That's like saying that land invasions are a made up boogeyman because they depend on flaws like "not having a giant impregnable wall surrounding your country." DDoS attacks, in particular, are problematic. A given target has no way to prevent zombied machines from participating in the attack.

Besides which, a DDoS attack is just a bandwidth race. If my home PC were to be attacked like this, there's nothing I, personally, can do about it. My router won't pass any of the packets to my machine, but if there's 6 Mbps worth of incoming traffic, even if I drop it at the router, I still can't get much legit traffic through. I can call my provider, and see if they can stop it upstream, but then it's just a comparison of the bandwidth at the DSLAM to the bandwidth of the attacker. The only thing to hope for is that, somewhere up the chain, you can reach a node with enough bandwidth that the attacker can't overwhelm it. When you start getting up into backbone territory, this isn't a problem.

But - if we hypothesize for the moment an actual planned assault by a country - odds are pretty good that the US DoD, for example, has more bandwidth than Iran.

Re:Common Sense (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161323)

Computer attacks rely heavily on human mistakes. Security is a minimum game of what the system(s) involved can and what the user(s) in front of them can. And the fun part about defending a computer is that ALL those parts have to be tight. Like defending a castle. Doesn't help jack if one side of your defense is made of solid rock when the other one is made of cardboard.

Yes! fp?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160513)

this post up. >and sling or table that *BSD 0wned.

Off topic... (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160547)

There is only reason I even know where Estonia is. It's the first level in the original Command and Conquer. GG American Public Education System >.

reminds of (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160557)

the Hainan Island incident [wikipedia.org]

before 9/11 in early 2001, a chinese jet fighter bumped a us spy plane it was trying to harass away. the chinese fighter crashed and the pilot was never found, and the spy plane was forced to make an emergency landing on hainan island, where the chinese stripped the plane of equipment and then returned the crew to the usa

what happened for a few tense weeks was a lot of nationalistic chest thumping by chinese and american hackers: chinese hackers defacing poorly patched american servers, everything from small businesses to government systems, and american hackers defacing chinese servers: schools and government (i remember this well as i had a box that was hacked: my home page was replaced with a chinese flag and a "fuck usa", heh)

the point is, it's probably not official, it's probably by an independent group of weakly organized russian hackers upset due to nationalistic pride

the trigger for them is that statue that estonia got rid of in tallinn, which russians probably view as thousands of dead soldiers in the defense of estonia from the nazis, and estonia being ungrateful, and estonians viewing as an example of soviet domination, and a symbol of the past cold war era, and russians trying to retain their dominance

regardless, i expect some pissed off estonian hackers soon to plaster "in soviet russia, estonia hackers hack you!" all over pravda.ru, or something

Maybe (2, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160655)

the point is, it's probably not official, it's probably by an independent group of weakly organized russian hackers upset due to nationalistic pride

Given that it is now Putin's Russia, I'm not so sure. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were some winking and nodding coming from the Russian security apparatus.

Re:reminds of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161147)

regardless, i expect some pissed off estonian hackers soon to plaster "in soviet russia, estonia hackers hack you!" all over pravda.ru, or something

No that will not happen, because the only stupid, unlawful and sufficiently beast like people the live in Estonia are all amongst the 1/3 of the population that is made of Russians.

I've been there, I have friends there, and every-time there is trouble, the trouble maker it's always a Russian, that lives there, thinks we are still in Stalin time and thinks that Estonia is a slave country of their Russia.

If you don't believe me, read the news, the Russians living in Estonia, are talking about job discrimination because they force the people that want to get a state job to actually know Estonian ... yeah, what a discrimination.

The Russians still live there all their lives and don't even care to learn the language of their home country ... really, I didn't knew someone could be that retarded, but the Russians always prove me wrong.

If the Russians don't like to live in Estonia, why don't you all pack your stuff and go back to your stinking non-democratic Russia? I bet all the Estonians will be happy and the reasons of complaint for the Russians would be over ! Wake up, this is not the cold war time anymore, your country stinks !

hello brawling estonians and russians (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161245)

i would like to open this nationalistic chest thumping thread with an exhortation from the rest of us here at slashdot: please be extremely hysterical and hot-headed and entertaining

please be accusing each other's mothers of various acts of bestiality and extreme promiscuity, and do not go lightly on the creative threats of violence, including skewering the eyes with pokers, and the twisting of testicles in various farm machinery. proper english grammar is optional, in fact, it is better if your english grammar is nonexistent

ok, my popcorn is ready, any russian want to respond to the above estonian?

go!

Re:reminds of (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161221)

the trigger for them is that statue that estonia got rid of in tallinn, which russians probably view as thousands of dead soldiers in the defense of estonia from the nazis, and estonia being ungrateful, and estonians viewing as an example of soviet domination, and a symbol of the past cold war era, and russians trying to retain their dominance
Don't confuse defense with attack. Memorial [wikipedia.org] was unveiled in September 22, 1947. Russian Red Army entered Tallinn in September 22, 1944. These soldiers died not during defense of Tallinn in the beginning of WWII. They died when Russians fought with Germans in 1944. Russian call it "freeing of Estonia". Estonians call it "occupation of Estonia"

dude (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161341)

i am not vouching for the authenticity of one view or another, i am merely stating that there are two different views, a russian one, and an estonian one. obviously, both sides are very emotional about it

bu if you ask you me anyways, my personal attitude is that you poor poles, lithuanians, latvians and estonians have been the battleground of the power struggle between berlin and moscow for centuries. i champion the underdog and the little guy, and that's obviously estonia in this case, so i'm with you:

fuck the russians (and the germans). it's easy to pick on your small neighbors isn't it, you fucking autocratic assholes

Re:dude (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161857)

If the French or Belgians started digging up American WWII cemetaries and moving them I'd be pretty pissed too. Lots of Russians died fighting the Germans in the Baltics in WWII and these countries aided and abetted the Nazis (including the holocaust). Size has nothing to do with the ability to be selfrightious so I don't see why size (or Germany in this case) has anything to do with it.

Re:reminds of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19161753)

The trigger was created by Moscow. Bronze soldier was not a trigger 3y ago, that means 12 years into independence.

Massive defacement from estonian hackers is quite improbable. There has been one occasion, when a server, that served images for an anti-Estonia forum was hacked and the images were replaced with something similar to "I love Estonia".
Defacements are improbable, because during the unrest Estonias government sent SMS to ALL Estonian mobile operators GSM-s pleading "please stay home, don't submit to agitations". Most estonians (unlike russians) are at the moment quite peaceful and allow the Moscow-s actions to damage Moscow itself.

All the bronze soldiers thing was orchestrated by puppeteers (proof would be an offtopic paragraph), puppeteers of the masses. Now how can somebody claim that Moscow is not behind cyber attacs, when their ears were clearly visible from behind the increased hatred and unrests? Even if they are not yet attacking directly, then they are the puppeteers of the russian hackers. (could we claim that the puppeteers are not resposible?) Now it would be quite interesting for Moscow to test the more real cyberwar, after all the publicity. It is very expencive to defend against it.

US too! Just ask the "war czar" (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160583)

Feeling left behind in the new propaganda wars, the US military is working hard to catch up. I already thought the Air Force mission required the domination of cyber space [slashdot.org], but it seems that's not enough. A newly minted "war czar" is going to expand and unite the mission for all branches. [slashdot.org] Czar? how fitting for this conversation. I'd prefer the title "war lord of mind fuck".

They forgot something. (1, Interesting)

rumith (983060) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160627)

The summary doesn't mention that the attacks started after Estonia began excavating graves of Soviet troops killed during the World War II and vandalized the memorial devoted to them. Estonia is seen as a neo-fascist regime by Russia, and in my opinion, rightly so: you can't deny over 30% of your population [estimate of Russian population in Estonia] the most basic rights, including citizenship and education for children, based on their nationality, and be seen otherwise. Of course, Europe and the United States ignore this issue.

Re:They forgot something. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160841)

Where do you get your facts from?

Every last russian, who is willing to learn the national language is granted citizenship in Estonia
Education is available (on all levels) in both Estonian and Russian

Re:They forgot something. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160897)

The summary doesn't mention that the attacks started after Estonia began excavating graves of Soviet troops killed during the World War II and vandalized the memorial devoted to them.
Vandalized? Moved to cemetery where it belongs.

Estonia is seen as a neo-fascist regime by Russia, and in my opinion, rightly so
Russia is seen as imperialist regime by Estonia, and in my opinion, rightly so

you can't deny over 30% of your population [estimate of Russian population in Estonia] the most basic rights, including citizenship
You learn the language, pass one exam and voila - the citizenship is yours.

and education for children based on their nationality, and be seen otherwise.
We have schools for Russian-speaking children where most of the subjects are taught in Russian. Unbelievable, yes?

Of course, Europe and the United States ignore this issue.
And Russians ignore the reality. I'm sorry if you do not agree.

Re:They forgot something. (5, Informative)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160989)

Nope the starting point of this was the relocation of a large statue of a Soviet soldier from central Tallinn to a Soviet Army military cemetery on the outskirts of the city. The Estonians were occupied twice by the Soviet Union, once at the beginning of World War II and again at the end. The second occupation was billed as a liberation of Estonia by the Soviets, but both times large numbers of Estonians were deported to labour camps in the east of the Soviet Union, many to never return. As a result, the statue came to symbolise the occupation of Estonia, and it was felt it should not be in the centre of the countries capital.

During the Soviet era, a large number of ethnic Russians were settled in Estonia and a program of Russification carried out that tried to extinguish Estonian language and culture. This was a common policy across the Soviet Union, as it was seen as a way of preventing a future break up of the union. The Putin government plays on the tensions amongst these former Soviet populations as a way of reasserting Russias importance in the region.

The bodies that are often mentioned in the news reports are actually located some distance from the original site of the statue. They have been located (there was no sign of their presence above ground) under a tram stop and road junction. Excavation was carried out, and the coffins relocated to the same cemetery as the statue. This is in accordance with war graves agreements that are part of internation law.

Re:They forgot something. (3, Informative)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161383)

And the Russians, who are so indignant that their soldiers bodies were "desecrated" by moving them to a military cemetary, seem to forget one historical fact: They themselves cared very little for their own dead in WWII. Not that they cared too much for the living either. The road to Berlin is littered with unburied bodies.

As to who is doing the "cyber attacks". It's hard to determine the origin of a DDoS attack, but the timing and context seems to point to Russian intervention. However, this is unlikely to be direct government intervention, but rather it uses a proxy organization such as the Putin Youth (Nashi). The same government sponsored (but nominally independent) group attacked the Estonian embassy. Correct me if i'm wrong, but could this not be construed as casus belli in an of itself (that is, if Estonia had such designs and the capability to carry them to a conclusion). If the Russians are willing attack an embassy, which results in no real economic damage to Estonia, but huge reputational damage to Russia, why would they shy from sponsoring DDoS attacks against Estonia to cause real economic damage?

Re:They forgot something. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161905)

Be careful with your words.

Russia lost 30 millions (yes, millions) of people in WWII - there's no WAY to recover all dead bodies, unfortunately. But there's still about 300 active salvage parties in Russia, they search for remains of dead soldiers, identify them and then rebury with military honors.

Re:They forgot something. (0, Troll)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161999)

The problem is that Estonia now behaves EXACTLY like USSR did.

For example, about 30% of Russian-speaking people in Estonia do not have citizenship (they are 'aliens'). Russian schools are continuously pressured etc.

Re:They forgot something. (5, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161473)

The summary doesn't mention that the attacks started after Estonia began excavating graves of Soviet troops killed during the World War II and vandalized the memorial devoted to them. Estonia is seen as a neo-fascist regime by Russia, and in my opinion, rightly so: you can't deny over 30% of your population [estimate of Russian population in Estonia] the most basic rights, including citizenship and education for children, based on their nationality, and be seen otherwise. Of course, Europe and the United States ignore this issue.

Let me give you another perspective on this. You can decide whether or not you want to stick to your guns here. Are you by any chance married to a Russian woman? Because if you are, that will certainly inhibit your ability to see the other side.

Estonia was under Russian control until 1918. It remained an independent nation until 1940, when the USSR invaded it. Germany occupied it from 1941 to 1944. During the 1 year or so of Soviet occupation prior to the Nazi invation, the Soviets did such nice things as kill the intellectuals and forcibly conscript Estonians into the Red Army. I can't say it's any wonder that as in Ukraine (where Stalin and his henchmen had killed and starved to death millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s), the locals viewed the Nazis as liberators and then found out that they were just as bad if not worse as the Soviets. Do note that the USA never recognized the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NEVER. It's important to know that for over 50 years, official US policy was that the occupation of these 3 countries was illegal.

After WWII ended, Estonia was screwed. They were part of the Soviet Union. The Soviets moved hundreds of thousands of Russian speaking immigrants into Estonia in an attempt to "Russify" it and to dilute Estonian nationalism. Estonian freedom fighters fought a small scale guerilla war against the USSR into the early 1950s when they finally gave up and realized it was hopeless.

During the USSR period, Russian was the official language in education. It was possible to have education in whatever the local language was (Krushchev made some changes that allowed this), but there was a catch - if you wanted to get a good job, you absolutely had to speak Russian well. Given that Russian and Estonian are about as closely related as English is to Polish, you might understand that Estonian parents had no choice but to send their kids to Russian language schools so as to give them the best chance to prosper in the USSR.

Cut to 1991 when Estonia gets its independence. They now have a rather large Russian speaking population who they were forced to accept by a government that no longer exist. These people have never assimilated into Estonian society. In fact, they were encouraged immigrate there specifically to dilute Estonia's sense of national identity and to turn them into "good little Soviet subjects". These immigrants have never bothered to learn the Estonian language since Russian was the official language of the government prior to 1991. Now you have all these people who say "Screw you! We want to speak Russian!" in a country where the majority of citizens speak the local language, Estonian. They demand that everything be done in Russian so they can understand it. The Estonians never wanted to speak Russian to begin with, so they are promoting the use of their national language. Now you have about 26% of the population who refuses to "get with the program", demands that their language be given equal footing with the national tongue and even worse, feels that things were a lot better back when they were in charge and the stupid locals were taking orders from them. So given that Estonia never wanted the Soviets/Russians there to begin with and the Soviets weren't exactly enlightened when they ran the show, can you really blame them for not being real happy with Russia today? By the way, ethnic Russians can become Estonian citizens, but they have to take a test in Estonian. I'm curious if you would argue, assuming that you are American, that it would be OK for all the Hispanic immigrants in the USA to take a US citizenship test in Spanish and or to just be given citizenship by the fact that they live here, whether legally or illegally, because that's not really too different from the situation in Estonia right now. Russian children are certainly not denied education in Estonia, but I think that such education is in Estonian. I think it's fine for them to insist that education be in the national language. Russians do have a choice. Mother Russia will gladly allow all of them to return, no questions asked. What's that? You don't want to return because you know that an EU passport is much more valuable than a Russian one? You can get a better job with better opportunities as an EU citizen? Then stop bitching because you don't want to play by the rules. Russians in Estonia want to have all the benefits of EU citizenship without doing anything to earn them. I have zero sympathy for them.

Very good ... I wish I had mod points to mod up (1)

jbssm (961115) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161949)

You are completely right.

What people don't seem to understand is that this is happening in all the former URSS block, but Estonia is getting the worst part because they are such a small nation, the country only has 1.5 Million people and so the Russian keep coming with the argument that they are 1/3 of the population.

But Russians, wake up, this is not Stalin time anymore! The Estonians go a long way to make Russians have the same opportunities, mostly everything is translated to Russian, and there are Russians schools ... but you should start realising that Estonia doesn't belong to you anymore ... if you don't like it go back to Russia and stop complaining, because after what you have done to Estonians in the past, they are playing really nice with you guys, so start to appreciate and be thankful !

ObPrisoner quote (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160639)

"Russian."

(pointedly) "Estonian."

(smirk) "Russian."

(glare) "_We_ don't think so."

Economix (1, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160665)

This reminds me of 2001 Chinese hackers said Tuesday they have begun to hit American computer networks with denial-of-service attacks, and also claim to have placed mass-attack tools into four large American computer networks. A new alert from the FBI-led National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) confirms that hackers have been particularly active over the past two days. The distributed-denial-of-service attacks on the Department of the Interior's National Business Center, the U.S. Geological Survey's site and Pacific Bell Internet Services are among the largest so far. (Is This World Cyber War I [wired.com]).

Economics will eventually take a big hit in the future with regards to cyberwarfare. A lot of times I'll read articles and comments with "so what better computers then people". Often those commenting don't think about the repercussions that come from a collapsed economy... That will lead to a shoddier quality of life, more crime and eventually more violence. Isn't this the case for the gaming community with so called "Gold Farmers" from China waging off-line attacks now... Meaning people actually escalating a scenario to non Internet mediums...

Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160681)

They should make this an act of war. There is no excuse for stuff like this: http://curio.us/q2 [curio.us]

we must not allow a Cyber-War gap .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160683)

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we must not allow a Cyber-War gap!

Seriously though, the US should have allowed the commie bastards join NATO when they wanted, instead of creating the ideal conditions for starting WW3.

Nothing to worry about (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160835)

Only in the movies do the bad guys cut off the electricity and phone (communications blackout) before breaking in with guns ablazing.

Only by submitting this story through my Estonian proxy on the 16th, did it get rejected for this one submitted on the 17th.

It's funny, laugh. Better yet, moderate me funny damnit!

Oh yeah? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160845)

This means that the provisions of... collective self-defense, will not automatically be extended to the attacked country... this matter needs to be resolved in the near future.
Does this mean that get a ping wrong and it's not simply packets that might be coming back the other way?

 

Re:Oh yeah? (4, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161199)

Does this mean that get a ping wrong and it's not simply packets that might be coming back the other way?

That's why in Hunt for Red October, Sean Connery says "ping -c 1 sub.navy.mil" (or simply "One ping only")

That joke worked so well in my head :-(

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161653)

If it helps, I thought it worked pretty well on this end, too.

I don't think, though, that it could have been pulled off verbally.

O'rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160899)

"Without naming Russia, the Nato official said: "I won't point fingers. But these were not things done by a few individuals."

I see no reason why this could not have been done by one person, one man and a dial up connection can have alot of fun (once they find a few vulnerable servers on T1 ;) ).

Just what evidence does this nato official base his claims on? Political power seems to be inversely proportional to technical knowledge in the case of anyone with any political influence

Actually this has happened before, to the USA (5, Informative)

mungurk (982766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19160921)

The Guardian article is not correct, in stating "the first known incidence of such an assault on a state". James Adams published an article entitled "Virtual Defense" from Foreign Affairs, May/June 2001 that details a number of cyber-attacks on a massive scale, against the United States. Specifically the Pentagon, NASA, as well as private universities and research laboratories, and a number of military defense contractors were targeted and the security breaches were enourmous, with highly sensitive documents vulnerable. Here is a link to the article (brief preview, then they make it available for purchase - sorry) http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20010501faessay4771/ james-adams/virtual-defense.html [foreignaffairs.org] According to Foreign Affairs: The U.S. government now believes that more than 30 nations have developed aggressive computer-warfare programs. The list includes Russia and China, volatile governments such as Iran and Iraq, and U.S. allies such as Israel and France...The hackers have built "back doors" through which they can re-enter the infiltrated systems at will and steal further data; they have also left behind tools that reroute specific network traffic through Russia. [end of excerpt] The danger here is very high, especially for small businesses, who certainly do not have the technical resources of the US military (and even that was breached). Many small businesses have military contracts, etc. In short, this is a genuine act of war, and the potential for breaches of security across small businesses in the US (or really anywhere) is very high.

Racism in Estonia (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19160971)

The Russian minority living in Estonia is discriminated against, so this does not surprise me in the least. Teens with botnets, DOSing hated government sites... Estonian government can only blame themselves for not allowing the russian minority to work and for the many discriminatory laws against them. What is laughable is crying for NATO to deal with script kiddies' botnets.

creating hostility (0, Troll)

musicmaster (237156) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161249)

So we have an Estonian government that is playing the ethnic card and that in the process probably has caused hundreds of Russians to emigrate. And now we are asked to see that government as a victim because some Russian script kiddies got angry with them?

Do you really know what are you talking about ? (1)

jbssm (961115) | more than 6 years ago | (#19161775)

Hummm ... how is Estonian government playing the ethnic card by removing a statue made the the occupying Russian government in honour of the Russian soldiers that died occupying Estonia?

If Americans have got conquered by the Russians during WW II and remain like that until 10 years ago, and now you would be in government, would you like to keep the statues they would have erected in your country honouring the Russian soldiers that died killing the American soldiers and civilians during the invasion of your country?

This is not playing anything, this is stating their independence ... I wonder if Israel did the something similar you would say that they were playing ethnic cards against Germany (and Germany actually regrets what they have done ... the Russians still think they had every reason to do so and never apologise to the Estonians and every other country in the former URSS block).

Re:Do you really know what are you talking about ? (2, Informative)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19162073)

in honour of the Russian soldiers that died occupying Estonia

Nice try, it was put there for the soldiers that died freeing the country of the Nazis. What happened during the occupation is a different matter but don't try to rewrite history.

Since you are using the "If the US..." metaphor then how about if US war cemetaries in France and Belgium were dug up and moved and the monuments carted off? I think we'd be pretty upset.

Funny that you should mention Israel in your comment. Seeing as the Baltic states collaborated with the Nazis in exterminating Jews [wikipedia.org].

I agree that Russia should face up to what they did after the war but to dismiss their sacrifices during WWII and to make the Baltic states look like innocent lambs is disgraceful. Don't lump one with the other.

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