Estonia says it staved off major cyberattack after removing Soviet monuments

Estonia says it staved off major cyberattack after removing Soviet monuments

People walk on the bridge over Narva river at the border crossing with Russia in Narva, Estonia, February 16, 2017. Picture taken February 16, 2017. Portal/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

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VILNIUS, Aug 18 (Portal) – Estonia has repelled “the largest cyberattacks since 2007,” it said on Thursday, shortly after Soviet monuments were removed in an ethnic Russian-majority region.

Russian hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for the attack and said on its Telegram account on Wednesday that it had blocked access to more than 200 Estonian state and private institutions, including an online citizen identification system.

However, an Estonian government official said Thursday the impact of the attack was limited.

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“Yesterday, Estonia faced the largest cyberattacks it has faced since 2007,” tweeted Luukas Ilves, State Secretary for Digital Transformation at the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications.

“With some brief and minor exceptions, websites remained fully available throughout the day. The attack went largely unnoticed in Estonia,” he added.

Killnet, which claimed a similar attack on Lithuania in June, said it acted after a Soviet Tu-34 tank was moved from public display in the city of Narva to a museum on Tuesday. Continue reading

In a DDoS attack, hackers attempt to flood a network with unusually high traffic levels in order to shut it down when it can no longer handle the amount of data requested.

Estonia sought to increase cybersecurity in 2007 after suffering widespread attacks on public and private websites, blaming it on Russians furious over the removal of a Soviet-era statue.

The Red Army memorial was removed from a square in Tallinn, followed by two nights of rioting by ethnic Russians.

The Estonian government on Tuesday ordered the swift removal of all public Soviet monuments in majority Russian-speaking Narva, citing rising tensions in the city and accusing Russia of using the past to divide Estonian society. Continue reading

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Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius Editing by Mark Potter

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