NEWS

Estonia to Help Georgia Fight Back Against Cyberattacks

By Matthew Harwood

Two Estonian computer security experts will arrive in Georgia tonight to help the besieged government battle back against an array of cyberattacks, reports ComputerWorld.com.

Two of the four experts that staff Estonia's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) were waiting Tuesday morning in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, seeking permission to drive into Georgia, said Katrin Pärgmäe, communication manager for the Estonian Informatics Center. The two officials are also bringing humanitarian aid, she said.

Estonia is also now hosting Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, which has been under sustained attack over the last few days.

Other Georgian Web sites are currently being hosted on American servers.

Paralleling what's occurring militarily in the real world between Russian and Georgian soldiers, battles have been waged in cyberspace as well. Hackers known as the South Ossetia Hack Crew have directed denial-of-service attacks against prominent Georgian Web sites as the country's Parliament and its president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

Computer security experts see Russian fingerprints on such attacks.

"The Russian government is in the position to deny that they are directly responsible for the attacks but they have allowed the attacks to happen and they have allowed the attacks to come out of servers that are under their jurisidiction and their control," Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, told National Public Radio.

As ComputerWorld.com reports, the Russian government has long been suspected of directing cyberattacks against neighboring countries such as Estonia, Lithuania, and Georgia when political struggles have erupted.

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