Revisiting the Estonian Cyber Attacks: Digital Threats and Multinational Responses

Journal of Strategic Security, Vol. 4, No. 2: 49-60, 2011

14 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016 Last revised: 5 Jul 2017

See all articles by Stephen Herzog

Stephen Herzog

Yale University, Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In April 2007, the Estonian Government moved a memorial commemorating the Soviet liberation of the country from the Nazis to a less prominent and visible location in Tallinn. This decision triggered rioting among Russian-speaking minorities and cyber terrorism targeting Estonia's critical economic and political infrastructure. Drawing upon the Estonian cyber attacks, this article argues that globalization and the Internet have enabled transnational groups — such as the Russian diaspora — to avenge their grievances by threatening the sovereignty of nation-states in cyberspace. Sophisticated and virtually untraceable political "hacktivists" may now possess the ability to disrupt or destroy government operations, banking transactions, city power grids, and even military weapon systems. Fortunately, western countries banded together to effectively combat the Estonian cyber attacks and minimize their effects. However, this article concludes that in the age of globalization, interdependence, and digital interconnectedness, nation-states must engage in increased cooperative cyber-defense activities to counter and prevent devastating Internet attacks and their implications.

Keywords: Estonia, cyber security, Russia, NATO, DDoS, European security, technology studies, information security, cyber terrorism, cyber crime

Suggested Citation

Herzog, Stephen, Revisiting the Estonian Cyber Attacks: Digital Threats and Multinational Responses (2011). Journal of Strategic Security, Vol. 4, No. 2: 49-60, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2807582

Stephen Herzog (Contact Author)

Yale University, Department of Political Science ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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