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Estonia fines man for DDoS attacks

Local pest rather than international conspiracy

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Estonia has fined a local man a year's salary for involvement in last April's sustained denial of service attacks against the Baltic nation's critical internet systems.

Dmitri Galushkevich, 20, of Tallinn, was fined 17,500 Estonian Krooni ($1,641) on Wednesday after he was found guilty of launching an assault on the website of the Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Estonian government systems. The fine is the equivalent of 350 days' salary, based on the minimum wage set by the Estonian government, EarthTimes reports.

Galushkevich worked together with unidentified accomplices to launch the attacks from his Tallinn home between 25 April to 4 May last year.

The fine is the first levied after last year's intense cyberattacks. Although fairly unsophisticated, the assaults served as a wake-up to the potential damage that might be caused by DDoS attacks.

Civil unrest in Estonia over the removal of Soviet-era memorials last April was accompanied by attacks against the Baltic nation’s internet infrastructure. Several Estonian government websites remained unavailable; others such as that of the Estonian Police were available only in text-only form as a result of sustained denial of service attacks, many of which were powered by networks of compromised PCs. Local banks and media outlets were also targets for the attack.

Estonian minister pointed the finger of blame for the attacks towards the Russian government, an accusation the Kremlin denied.

Security experts, and even government officials, point out there's little evidence much less proof to back up these charges. It seems more likely that a loose-knit group of indivduals and different groups united by outrage flamed by posts on Russian-language blogs and forums were behind the assault.

The removal of monuments to Soviet soldiers and the excavation of World War II Red Army graves sparked riots on the street that spilled over onto the net. Sporadic attacks thought to be motivated by the same factors continue. Earlier this month an Estonian news site was hit with a sustained DDoS from a botnet, security tools firm Arbor Networks reports. ®

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