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U.S. Experts Head for Estonia to Investigate Cyber Attacks

After Estonia suffered attacks on its online infrastructure for two months, US' professional experts on cyber security are preparing to reach Estonia to help.

The online hacking attacks followed just after the relocation of Soviet-era Soldier Liberator Monument in the capital town of Tallinn. Estonian Defense Minister, Jack Aaviksoo quickly blamed Russia for the cyber assaults.

An expert from the US-Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is traveling to Estonia where he would analyze the voluminous data that the attacks generated, according to Gregory Garcia, asst. secretary for telecommunications and cyber security with DHS, as per the news reported by PCworld on July 3, 2007.

Gregory said his organization was sending someone to help Estonian authorities in conducting forensic analysis of the computer data and to impart training on the security of their infrastructure.

The widespread DDOS attacks that struck Estonia in April 2007 paralyzed government and banking websites. Initial reports from the press associated the origin of attacks to Russia resulting in diplomatic standoff between the two nations. But now according to investigators, it is not clear who exactly carried out or supported the attacks.

While some attackers used simple codes on their computers, others trained advanced botnet systems at the Estonian networks, said Gadi Evron, a security expert with Beyond Security Ltd. A number of attacks originated from phony sources and zombie computers worldwide, said Evron, and PCworld published this in news on July 3, 2007.

There was no confirmation from any quarters that Russia allegedly waged the cyber war on Estonia. According to local IT experts, Aivo Jurgenson and Tynu Samuel, they could be just amateur attacks rather than state authorized cyber incursions. Itar-tass published this on July 6, 2007. Agreeing with the opinion, a U.S. expert said the location source of the attacks were many rather than just Moscow.

In a recent IT security seminar in Estonia, certain information indicated that of the 1,000 cyber attacks on Estonia, 177 came from the U.S., 90 from Canada, 50 from the U.K. and 27 from Germany. There was no mention of Russia even among the top ten.

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