December 26, 2013 – Global Research
Barely acknowledged by the mainstream media, NATO launched in late November its largest-ever cyber defense exercises “Cyber Coalition 2013″ to test the Alliance ability to defend its networks from attacks.
The exercises involved some 500 experts – more than 100 participants from the NATO Cyber Defense Center for Excellence and over 300 cyber defense experts from 32 states-members and partners of the Alliance, who worked remotely.
Cyber Coalition 2013 continued the line of NATO exercises Steadfast Jazz 2013, which were held in Poland and the Baltic states in the beginning of November.
Besides repulsion of aggression against Estonia from an imaginary state Botnia, the exercises also featured testing NATO cyber defense mechanisms. By an amazing coincidence, in the very beginning of the exercises a number of Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Baltic state sites underwent an attack . Even the site of NATO Cyber Defense Center in Tallinn was down for some hours.
It’s not still clear who was behind the attack, though there were some reports of a notorious hacker group Anonymous Ukraine, who cracked some NATO servers in 2011, claiming responsibility for it.
The day before the attack Anonymous Ukraine published a video to announce the beginning of the “Independence” operation against both Russian and European options for Ukraine integration. Up to here everything seems quite clear. However, it’s strange that after the Estonian authorities lost control of the Ministry of Defense site for almost 24 hours (!), they decided not to conduct an investigation of the incident under the pretext of major expenses necessary. Quiet a strange statement to come from a country which hosts NATO Cyber Defense Center, which was created to defend Estonia against cyber attacks.
In Ukraine, things were different. The hacked sites of Ukrainian government bodies (the Prosecutor General, SBU medical service, etc.) featured a banner of NATO Cyber Defense Center in Tallinn warning that the sites didn’t correspond to NATO security standards. Despite the hype in the social networks, there was no official reaction to the incident. Obviously, Kiev decided to swallow that to avoid “unnecessary consequences”.
It’s clear that Yanoukovich didn’t have enough guts to accuse NATO of cyber terrorism or conduct an independent investigation. By the way, while some Polish, Latvian and Estonian sites were also attacked, only Anonymous Ukraine managed to give an appropriate reaction.
Brussels, naturally, denied any involvement in the incidents. In the midst of the exercises NATO Cyber Defense Center in Tallinn officially announced that someone just used its name to discredit the work of the alliance. However, the perpetrator was never named (https://www.ccdcoe.org/453.html).
Also read: NATO war games worry Moscow