RIA expert: Estonia could become greater target for Russian cyber attacks

  • 2022-04-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – According to Lauri Tankler, head of the research and development coordination department of the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA), it must be understood in Estonia, which is a supporter of Ukraine, that the country may become a bigger target of Russian cyber attacks, the regional Parnu Postimees writes.

"We who support Ukraine very strongly here in Estonia should realize that we have positioned ourselves with this support. Similarly, cyber criminals may hold a certain sentiment. They may be interested in targeting countries or businesses in countries they do not like. We have to accept that we may be a bigger target now than before the war," Tankler told Parnu Postimees.

According to him, there has not been an increase in incidents in such a way that more Estonian companies have been hit compared to the pre-war period. However, RIA has observed a kind of touching of door knobs, figuratively speaking -- there are scans and observations taking place to see if there are any vulnerabilities or if some passwords have not been changed. RIA is also able to detect such scans more by now. According to Tankler, there are a lot of such attacks all the time. This is a long-term trend and it cannot be said that it is related to the war in Ukraine or to Estonia as a target.

Tankler also noted that society has become a little smarter and more cautious about cyber attacks.

"The misinformation being spread in connection with the war has led to a situation where people click on various links or open a document allegedly related to the Ukrainian war, which contains malware. If you have any updates on your computer that have not been run and you click on some link, you do not even have to download any files to get malware," Tankler said. "At some point, malware will start stealing information from your computer, such as reading where you enter your password. Or, malware will start using your computer or e-mail account to send false information, propaganda, or phishing emails to your contacts. In other words, the Ukrainian war is being used as a lure in exactly the same way as the pandemic."