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Student fined for 'cyberwarfare' attack

Home PC used for DOS attack on Estonian sites

A 20-year-old Estonian student has been fined for participating in a cyberattack that paralysed Estonian websites and soured the country's relationship with Russia.

Dmitri Galushkevich used his home PC to launch a denial-of-service attack that knocked down the website for the political party of Estonia's prime minister for several days, said Gerrit Maesalu, spokesman for the Northeast District Prosecutor's Office in Tallinn, Estonia's capital. Galushkevich must pay 17,500 kroons (£825).

Galushkevich is the only person who has been convicted since the cyberattack in April and May 2007 crippled the websites of banks, schools and government agencies.

The attacks occurred after the Estonian government decided to relocate a Soviet-era World War II memorial of a bronze soldier. Ethnic Russians in Estonia rioted in the streets, and cyberattacks ensued. Russia denied involvement.

"He [Galushkevich] wanted to show that he was against the removal of this bronze statue," Maesalu. "At the moment, we don't have any other suspects."

But police are still trying to find others who may have been involved in the attacks, although the investigation is complicated since the attackers are likely outside Estonia, Maesalu said.

As the attacks were continuing, Estonian defence minister Jaak Aaviksoo called for stronger defences in Europe against computer hackers.


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