Friday, June 01, 2007

first real cyberwar (sort of)

recently estonia decided to remove a statue of a soviet soldier from a park which triggered them getting rocked by russian botnets launching ddos attacks which basically shut down internet access to estonia from the outside (and inside for some services). for all of you non-security types, this means they blasted them with so much traffic they weren't able to do anything but swallow the massive amounts of data being pumped at them by angry russians.

really well-done ny times article on the event here.

there's been a lot of talk of "cyberwar" and the like but this is the most prominent, prolonged internet fights between 2 countries that has ever been witnessed. china has targeted the us and japan for military secrets, pakistan and india have dueled in the past (swapped website defacements mostly), as have israel and palestine but none of their online skirmishes match what's happened between russia and estonia in terms of raw, brute force. estonia is no internet backwater either, they have some serious skills as do much of the former soviet bloc countries.

this is a harbinger of things to come. it's been possible to cripple internet-reliant countries for some time now but it's never been done at scale. since i'm not one to fearmonger, i'll point out that with internet services inaccessible during the eventual cyberwar with some pissed off country, think of all the things we'll be able to do since we won't be wasting time online! why just this week with no internet access on my mobile and long taxi rides in beijing, i've scored my personal best in bubble break (over 500). that's progress :-)

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