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Cases of cyber attacks

The historical landscape of how wars are fought changed drastically when Information Technology was used by developed countries to attack one another.Instead of bullets and guns, critical websites of government and news agencies are hacked or defaced to express political statement and display of IT power. In this paper,a comparison of three cases of cyber terrorism would be discussed to enable people understand the nature, power and threat caused by cyber attacks. Likewise, the governments’ initiatives to response to similar threats in the future are also included in this report. The case of the cyber attack in Estonia. In 2007, Estonia experienced a massive DDOS attack which paralyzed most of its government websites. Although Russian authorities denied the attack, the Estonian government highly believed that it was from Russia. The attack happened after a political issue which involved removing Estonia’s transfer of a Soviet war memorial in Talinn to a military cemetery ( A cyber riot, The Economist.com). The cyber attack is considered a DDoS or Distributed Denial Of Service. According to searchsecurity, techtarget.com, DDoS happens when “ a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing a denial of service; hence, the target system is forced to shut down which prevents legitimate users to receive service”. The main targets were banking institutions, schools, government websites and other institutions; however, the first launch targeted government sites. The government’s response was to shutdown all mobile phone networks as well as banking systems which really caused a lot of inconvenience to the public. The event was catastrophic enough to prompt NATO security experts to head to Estonia and investigate on the matter. A youth group known as Nashi meaning “Our” claimed the attack through its spokes person Konstantin Goloskokov which was funded by private business groups ( Shachtman, Wired.com). Estonia has reacted by creating a Cyber Defense League composed of specialists. It also came up with a Cyber Security Strategy in 2008 that would provide as framework for improving its defense against cyber attacks. Ossetia’s cyber-attack on Georgia in 2008 In 2008, Russia was accused by Ossetia for hacking its government and commercial websites. The attack on Georgia was believed to be a part of Russia’s military support in South Ossetia. The target of the attack included government websites according to a report on smh.com.au, the cyber attack included: 1. The Georgian Parliament main website has been defaced. The website content showed images of Adolf Hitler which replaced the picture of then Prime Minister Saakashvili; 2. The servers of Azerbaijani Day was disabled; As a result, some of the government’s website like Ministry of Foreign Affairs created a temporary site on the Google Blogger to safely disseminate information. Even news agency servers were attacked that time which really alarmed other countries. The main culprit of the attack was South Ossetia Hack Crew which came from a group of programmers from Russia. Today.az reported that “Russian intelligence services “were responsible for the attack (today.az,2008). The cyber attack is similar to the DDoS attack that happened in Estonia in 2007. As aforementioned, a DDoS attack would force the target to shut down which denies the legitimate users to access the site. After the attack, different governments such as Ukraine, Poland and Estonia helped Georgia by mirroring the web pages, it was a historic moment in history when Estonia came to the aid of this country (Schachtman, 2008 July). Indeed, Georgia learned a valuable lesson like Estonia which prompted its government to focus on cyber security measures. The National Security Council of Georgia created a Computer Emergency Response Team that can immediately respond to cyber attacks. Similarly, it has been enhancing security measures by continuously monitoring government websit ...Show more

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The historical landscape of how wars are fought changed drastically when Information Technology was used by developed countries to attack one another.Instead of bullets and guns,critical websites of government and news agencies are hacked or defaced to express political statement and display of IT power…
Author : randybergnaum
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