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An Account of the Estonian Internet War

About a year ago after coming back from Estonia, I promised I’d send in an account of the Estonian “war”. The postmortem analysis and recommendations I later wrote for the Estonian CERT are not yet public.

A few months ago I wrote an article for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, covering the story of what happened there, in depth. The journal owns the copyright so I had no way of sending that along either. I wasn’t about to say “go buy a copy”.

Mostly silly articles kept popping up with misguided to wrong information about what happened in Estonia, and when an Estonian student was arrested for participating, some in our community even jumped up to say “it was just some student”. Ridiculous.

This is the “war” that made politicians aware of cyber security and entire countries scared, NATO to “respond” and the US to send in “help”. It deserved a better understanding for that alone. Whatever actually happened there?

I was there to help, but I just deliver the account. The heroes of the story are the Estonian ISP and banking security professionals and the CERT (Hillar Aarelaid and Aivar Jaakson).

Apparently the Journal made my article available in PDF form by a third party:

Battling Botnets and Online Mobs
Estonia’s Defense Efforts during the Internet War
[PDF]

It is not technical; I hope you find it useful.

By Gadi Evron, Security Strategist

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