Feeds

Russian politician: 'My assistant started Estonian cyberwar'

Dubious DDoS lols

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A junior Russian politician has admitted that a Russian government official might have played some part in the infamous cyberattacks against Estonia two years ago - sort of.

Comments by Sergei Markov, a State Duma deputy from the Putin's Unified Russia party, on a cybercrime panel may have been intended as a joke. Nonetheless the remarks are likely to inflame tensions between Russia and its Baltic neighbour, heightened by subsequent internet attacks during the war between Georgia and Russia last year.

During a discussion on information warfare in the 21st century, moderated by US-based Russian journalist Nargiz Asadova, Markov unexpectedly went into a Boris Yeltsin-style rant, Radio Free Europe reports.

"About the cyberattack on Estonia... don't worry, that attack was carried out by my assistant. I won't tell you his name, because then he might not be able to get visas," he said.

Markov explained his assistant was in "one of the unrecognized republics" during the 2007 dispute with Estonia where he decided on his own initiative that "something bad had to be done to these fascists" before launching a cyberattack.

"Turns out it was purely a reaction from civil society and, incidentally, such things will happen more and more," he added.

Civil unrest in Estonia over the relocation of Soviet-era WWII memorials in April 2007 was followed by sustained denial of service attacks against the Baltic nation’s government, bank and media websites. The attacks stemmed from botnet networks of compromised PCs. Estonia makes heavy use of the internet so the attack caused a great deal of inconvenience, while acting as a wake-up about cyberwarfare.

Estonian ministers blamed Russian government for instigating the attacks, an accusation the Kremlin robustly denied at the time. Only one person has ever been charged over the attack, a member of Estonia's ethnic Russian minority.

Dmitri Galushkevich, of Tallinn, was fined 17,500 Estonian Krooni ($1,641) after he was convicted of launching hacking attacks on the website of the Reform Party of Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and government systems.

Despite Markov's boast it seems likely that "patriotic hackers", stirred up by Russia nationalist press, formed a cyber-militia that was the main participant of the attacks on Estonia. The attacks were almost certainly carried out by a group rather than any one person, so Markov's assertion ought to be taken with a pinch of vodka salt. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.