Student fined for DDoS attack on Estonia
A 20-year old Estonian student of Russian extraction has admitted to participating in the DDoS attacks on Estonian servers in May last year. He has been fined the equivalent of €1100 by a regional court. The massive attack on Estonia's IT infrastructure almost cut the country off from the global internet. The country's banking and government sites were amongst those knocked out.
The attack was triggered by the relocation of a Russian war memorial from the centre of Tallinn at the end of April; an event that also resulted in street riots. The Russian government was suspected of instigating the DDoS, although this has never been proved. Nevertheless, parts of the botnet involved had previously been used to attack the servers of the Russian opposition and the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
The student, Dmitri Galushkevich, is the only individual to be prosecuted so far. His declared motive was his disapproval of the relocation of the memorial. No other suspects have yet been identifed, a situation that has encouraged rumours that Galushkevich acted alone in carrying out the global attacks. This is technically possible, as there are botnets large enough to control several thousand infected PCs. However, that attacks on Estonia are still continuing which suggests that others are also involved.
As a result of these attacks, NATO and Estonia plan to strengthen their electronic defences against cyberattacks.
- Student fined for attack against Estonian Web site, report by Infoworld
- Student behind DoS attack that rekindled bad Soviet memories, report by arstechnica
- Estonia fines man for 'cyber war', report by BBC News