MoD Improves Web Security After Attack, Culprits Not Identified

Source: Photo: AFP/Scanpix

Officials have said that the cyber attack that prompted the Defense Ministry to take its website offline for part of last Friday was a technically simple assault that does not merit further attention.

The ministry said the impact of the attack, which attempted to overload the site, was minimal, and technicians made changes to thwart future incidents. However, the culprits will probably not be identified as the ordeal would not be worth the resources required for an investigation, officials said. They added that investigating the matter would be far more complicated than actually carrying out the attack.

"Decentralized denial-of-service attacks are often carried out with outside resources, such as with a botnet, i.e., thousands of infected computers over the world. Identifying the individual or individuals controlling them is not impossible, but it requires a lot of time, effort and extensive international cooperation," said State Information System IT security expert Triin Nigul.

The attack on Friday coincided with a statement purportedly from the Ukrainian wing of Anonymous, which claimed responsibility for the attack in protest of NATO.

A string of cases

Hackers have apparently been active in recent days, as several other minor cyber episodes have emerged. The victims include the Kumu Art Museum's website and the state train operator's website, where a hacker today posted a message claiming that trains would not be running in connection with NATO's Steadfast Jazz exercise.

These two attacks were inherently different from the Defense Ministry attack as they affected content as opposed to an attempt to overload the system. Both were also dismissed as negligible and blamed on web administrators' low security precautions.

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