Cyberwar — Estonia
April 2007 — The "Bronze Soldier" statue was moved from central Tallinn to a military cemetery. To Estonians, the statue was a symbol of almost 50 years of Soviet occupation. To Russia and to Estonians of Russian descent (about 25% of population of 1,300,000) the move was an insult to the memory of soldiers who fought the Nazis in WWII. There was street violence 26-28 April. The Sydney Morning Herald covered this.
9 May 2007 — Government web sites lost external connectivity due to a massive DDOS atack. Many of the attacking hosts were in Russia, some belonged to the Russian government. Official government involvement, support, or even awareness was kept obscure at the time. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency's Russia Military Power Report 2017 reported, 10 years later, "It is widely accepted that Russia, via patriotic hackers, conducted a cyber attack on Estonia in 2007." That report cited "The Rise of Hacktivism" by Dorothy Denning in the Journal of International Affairs, 8 September 2015.
24 Jan 2008 — Dmitri Galushkevich, an ethnic Russian, was convicted Jan 2008 for his involvement. Fined 17,500 kroons (1120 Euros, 1620 US$) for his part in attack against website of Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, one of many DDOS attacks on Estonian government and businesses. The Sydney Morning Herald covered this.
2 April 2008 — "Almost a year after falling victim to a "cyber-war" blamed on Russian hackers, the Baltic state of Estonia is now piloting NATO's efforts to ward off future online attacks on alliance members. After this week's NATO's summit in Romania, Estonia and seven other alliance partners will set up the "Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence" in Tallinn next month. The United States, Germany, Italy, Spain and Estonia's fellow ex-communist NATO member states Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia will spearhead the project." The Age covered this.
11 March 2009 — The pro-Kremlin youth group Наши, or Nashi, meaning Ours, claimed responsibility for making the attack on behalf of the Kremlin. Wired and The Register covered this.
As reported by RFE/RL, a State Duma Deputy from the pro-Kremlin Unified Russia party said, "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."
2014 — Estonia quickly grew from being a small republic within the Soviet Union to one of the most technologically advanced nations. Skype was developed in Estonia. Most of citizens' interaction with the national government has moved onto the Internet. For details see:
- Taavi Kotka, Estonia's CIO, Is Putting the 'E' in Estonia, OZY.com
- Lessons from the World's Most Tech-Savvy Government, The Atlantic
- How Estonia became E-stonia, BBC
In early 2014, while Russia was forcably annexing Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and threatening an invasion of eastern Ukraine, Estonia's CIO Taavi Kotka announced a plan to establish "data embassies". The Estonian government would upload all their data to cloud servers distributed around the world. If Estonia were invaded either physically or electronically, the government and its functions would be preserved. See "Concerned About Russian Invasion, Estonia Plans 'Data Embassies' in Allied Countries" from the Atlantic Council.