NATO Examines (Russian) Cyber Attacks on Estonia
Extracts of front page news in the UK, Guardian newspaper today.
Without naming Russia, the Nato official said: “I won’t point fingers. But these were not things done by a few individuals.
“This clearly bore the hallmarks of something concerted. The Estonians are not alone with this problem. It really is a serious issue for the alliance as a whole.”
“This is an operational security issue, something we’re taking very seriously,” said an official at Nato headquarters in Brussels. “It goes to the heart of the alliance’s modus operandi.”
Alarm over the unprecedented scale of cyber-warfare is to be raised tomorrow at a summit between Russian and European leaders outside Samara on the Volga.
While planning to raise the issue with the Russian authorities, EU and Nato officials have been careful not to accuse the Russians directly.
If it were established that Russia is behind the attacks, it would be the first known case of one state targeting another by cyber-warfare.
Relations between the Kremlin and the west are at their worst for years, with Russia engaged in bitter disputes not only with Estonia, but with Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Georgia – all former parts of the Soviet Union or ex-members of the Warsaw Pact. The electronic offensive is making matters much worse.
“Frankly it is clear that what happened in Estonia in the cyber-attacks is not acceptable and a very serious disturbance,” said a senior EU official.
Estonia’s president, foreign minister, and defence minister have all raised the emergency with their counterparts in Europe and with Nato.
“At present, Nato does not define cyber-attacks as a clear military action. This means that the provisions of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, or, in other words collective self-defence, will not automatically be extended to the attacked country,” said the Estonian defence minister, Jaak Aaviksoo.
“Not a single Nato defence minister would define a cyber-attack as a clear military action at present. However, this matter needs to be resolved in the near future.”
Read the full version online here:
Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia