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The Russian cyber attacks on Estonia

There is an interesting article about the Russian government backed cyber attacks against Estonia.

(via Instapundit)

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7 comments to The Russian cyber attacks on Estonia

  • Paul Marks

    There is endless talk about cyber warfare against the United States.

    Indeed people connected to the Chinese military actually launched some attacks (partly as an experiment) years ago.

    Yet, apart from setting up lots of new positions for adminstrators and producing lots of reports, little has been done to prepare defences (either in government or in many private companies).

    Too many private business enterprises trust the government to protect them, and the government efforts often get an “F” grade from their own studies (lots of reports, lots of money spent, results – poor to nil defences).

    It is pathetic.

    Business enterprises (and indivduals who can) should work out what to do if such things as power supplies (and everything else that involves computers) breaks down.

  • Midwesterner

    Paul, I rather like (although don’t ask me while it’s happening) that our system is under perpetual attack by hackers. I look at is as an immunological process.

    I think it would be very dangerous to protect our system with legal consequences and other means that rely on altering peoples behavior. It would leave us wide open to people who, for whatever reason, chose to attack anyway.

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
    – I don’t remember who said that.

  • Midwesterner

    oh. Not sure I want to be quoting him.


    Of course, stopped clock and all that. But,


  • Paul Marks

    Midwesterner I agree about not relying on punishments (and other such).

    This is not a law and order matter – it is a security matter.

    Both government (all parts and Federal, State and local) and private individuals and organizations should work to try and make their systems very hard to hack – and keep working on it. Also they must have back up systems ready to kick in (with data storage and so on) should their efforts to defend themselves fail.

    Just setting up lots of admin jobs for people to write reports on how bad things are will not do.

    Also it is not just a case of hacking. Defence against E.M.P. is still not done well enough – and the Defence Department has been supposed to have been working on that problem since at least 1981 (yes, 26 years).

    This is also the matter of physical attack.

    In one war game the red player (I think he was retired U.S. Navy – or perhaps U.S. Marines) opened the game by a simulated missile attack on the blue computer command and control systems.

    The American side was reduced to such chaos that the game was called off, and the red player was told he could not do that again.

    He resigned from the game – on the grounds that a real enemy would not be playing by a nice guy set of rules.

    I repeat that in civilian life people (who can) must work out what they would do if such things as power, water supply (and just about everything) went down – after all it is all computer controlled these days.

    There must be better defences and back up systems (both computer, and old style MANUAL systems) in case the defences fail.

  • Midwesterner

    A friend of mine worked for a (civilian) ISP and was showing me their new tornado proof hardware and switching facility. – Tornadoes here can be as high as F5 on the Fujita scale, 261–318 mph or 416–510 km/h and one nearby city, Barneveld, was utterly destroyed. We had to look through interior windows because only a very few must-have techs had access to that part of the facility.

    But as we were walking up to the facilty, he grumbled about some hideous piece of modern sculpture that straddled the sidewalk approaching the main entrance. He thought it looked hideous. I thought it looked beautiful… for stopping truck bombs. I told him so and he said ‘no way’. A year or two later he told me, sure enough, it was a truck bomb barrier disguised as art.

    The EMP thing is cause for concern, but in these days of fiber optics, it seems like only the junction points would need shielding, so it should be protectable. All the same, we’re not exactly generating test EMPs, are we?

    More related to the post topic, it almost seems like Estonia is becoming to the Soviet, er… Russian sphere what Israel is to the Muslim sphere. That is to say, a lightening rod for their wrath and worthy of extra support from us. In actual fact, it seems to me that, like in Israel’s case, their welfare is ultimately our welfare.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Sir.