Bill Stewart wrote:

> At 01:04 PM 5/18/2007, Trei, Peter wrote:
>> If the Russians aren't behind this, who else should be suspected? It 
>> isn't like Estonia has a wide selection of enemies. :-)

> There are three likely suspects
> - the actual Russian government (or some faction thereof)
> - Russian Mafia for whatever reasons (might not be distinct from a 
> faction of the government,
>         and usually if the Mafia's involved they're polite enough to
>         send a note demanding money or something.)
> - Some teenage hacker who got annoyed at some other teenage hacker
>         because they got into an argument on WoW or Myspace
>         and decided to DDOS him (usually attacks like that
>         don't take down much more than a small ISP or a university,
>         but like "D00d, you're so 0wn3d, I can take down ur whole
*country*" :-)

> The latter isn't as far-fetched as it sounds (well, ok a bit...)

This threatens to get off-topic. To drag it back, I'll note that NATO
has
sent electronic warfare experts to observe and advise, and there is much
speculation as to how countries should respond to such cyber attacks -
at what point do they become an act of war, and how much certainty of
the source must there be to merit a response?

I guess its possible this was a random hacker, but the timing seems 
implausible. Aside from the DDOS attacks, many Estonian websites have 
been vandalized, and the vandals made it clear the moving of the 
monument was their motivation. 

Check out:
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9163598

In addition, Estonia's embassy in Moscow has been blockaded, Russia has
cut off oil and coal shipments, and closed some road and rail links. 
Putin has described the move as a 'desecration'. This is a major
diplomatic feud.

In fairness, its worth noting that the issue is also mixed up
in Estonian electoral politics:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6645789.stm

The timing of the electronic attacks, and the messages left by
vandals, leave little doubt that the 'Bronze Soldier' affair is
the motivating factor. Whether Russian Government agents were
involved in the attacks is not proven, but certainly seems possible.

Peter Trei

Disclaimer: My own opinions; not my employers.
Full disclosure: My ancestry is half Estonian.




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