Taking down the real enemy

A story in The Christian Science Monitor earlier this year describes how Estonian officials responded to a sudden, violent pro-Russia protest in 2007—the first of its kind since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 (see “Cybersecurity 2020: What Estonia knows about thwarting Russians,” February 4, 2020). Though at first it appeared to be “a spontaneous outburst by local youths,” the outbreak of rioting was followed by a series of damaging cyberattacks evidently orchestrated by Russians.

Subsequent research has exposed such interference as part of an intentional, widespread effort to disrupt and divide democracies. The article states: “According to experts here and in Washington, Russia aims to undermine Western democracies both to boost its own global standing and to thwart democratic aspirations at home. It tries to do this by sowing doubt about democracy, undermining public trust in democratic leaders and institutions, and dividing nations and alliances. The foreign intruders have proved they can infiltrate everything from voting lists to banking systems and personal laptops.” The comprehensive, highly successful system Estonia has developed for dealing with such attacks shows the primary need to be alert to and expose hidden methods of criminal behavior on the world scene.

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Shutting the door on negative influences
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