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
Date Written: 2011
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
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