Estonia's E-Government and E-Commerce Sagging Under Prolonged Cyberattack

Being one of the most advanced users of the Internet in the world makes the country particularly vulnerable to Web-based attacks.

According to a report from the BBC, the government of Estonia has been suffering a prolonged denial-of-service attack. Estonian sources are pointing the finger at Russia. According to the BBC, the defense ministry says the cyberattacks come from all over the world, but some have been hosted by Russian state servers. Moscow denies any involvement. Calling it "cyberwarfare," Estonian officials aim to raise the issue at an E.U.-Russia summit planned for tomorrow.

Estonia has a very purposeful and quite developed e-government and banking system. Its e-government strategy outlines its goals for an Information Society, and steps to reach that by 2013. Consequently, paralysis of e-commerce by spam and denial-of-service attacks on public-sector websites have a particularly crippling effect on the country. (Trying to access a few sites with Estonia's national domain, .ee, this morning resulted in "problems loading page" messages.)

According to the science and technology news site Physorg.com, Estonian police on Saturday arrested a 19-year-old resident of the capital Tallinn, who is suspected of involvement in the attacks against Estonian computer servers. Still, Bloomberg.com reports today that NATO will be assisting in the investigation. NATO spokesman James Appathurai told Bloomberg: "This is serious because much of the business of the country is done electronically. Because it's serious for Estonia, it's serious for NATO.''

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