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Lifestyles

May 31, 2008

Tech, GP: Fighting back against cyber warfare

As I sit at the keyboard beginning another column, most people are thinking about the Memorial Day weekend.

Flags, parades and speeches express the nation's gratitude and solemn remembrance of efforts on behalf of our country. I think many people actually do pause at some point and reflect on the sacrifices that have been made defending our way of life.

Of course, after the jet-fighter fly-over and speeches are done for another year, mental focus usually returns to the three-day weekend, barbecue, beer, motor racing and the beginning of summer.

This year, Memorial Day should be noted for an additional element. It marked the anniversary of the first widely known instance of cyber warfare.

If you follow my column, you may remember that it was almost exactly a year ago that I wrote about a computer attack on the government and other important entities of the little country of Estonia.

I won't go into a lot of detail about it now, but the gist of it is that as the result of political disagreement over a statue in a park, an attack was launched that had quite a debilitating effect on the computing infrastructure of the country.

Now, Estonia is very advanced as far as Internet involvement in all parts of life, including government, banking, schools and even voting, more so than our own country, so it was a very big deal to the people who live there.

So a year has gone by. What's happened since then?

One person, a student, has been arrested, charged and plead guilty. Dmitri Galushkevich was fined 17,500 kroons (about $1,600) for attacking the prime minister's Reform Party website. He had a clean record before this.

Of course that was only a small part of the attack, and they say they have no other suspects. This after a year of concerted investigation by many agencies.

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