Russia accused of staging cyber-war on Estonia

There was a fascinating story in yesterday's Guardian about how the Russian government has been accused of orchestrating a major cyber-attack on Estonia over the last three weeks.

Although similar cyber-wars have been allegedly staged between country pairs such as Indian and Pakistan, plus Taiwan and China in the past, this is the first instance of it happening in Europe.

And, as you might expect, the NATO bigwigs are in a tizzy about it.

The simmering row between the two countries started escalating last month when the Estonian government removed the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn.

After a war of words, it seems that Estonia was then hit by wave upon wave of Web site swamping, with the sites of various government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies across Estonia disappearing under a hail of Web calls.

The nett result, says the paper, has been a denial of service for the Web sites concerned.

NATO is reported to have sent some of its top cyber-terrorism experts to Tallinn to investigate and to help the Estonians boost their electronic defences.

The big question, of course, is could a similar attack be staged on a European country's Internet resources?

Quite probably yes, which is why NATO is getting involved. Even though Russia is one of its members...