In a historic first, Estonia is sending cyber defense advisors to Georgia. Estonia has had the most direct experience countering attacks from Putin's Russia and after the attacks of May 7, 2007 established a NATO Cyber Defense Centre in their capital city of Tallinn.
According to one report:
Estonia will send to Georgia two specialists in information security from the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Estonia, Foreign Ministry representatives told the Baltic News Service.
So, two experts, almost certainly part of a NATO Centre have rushed to a NATO-wannabe country that is being pummeled by the Russian military and undergoing cyber attacks. In a conflict that could easily escalate (one excited editor of a military web site raises the specter of global conflagration as sparked by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand) you would think that Estonia would tread lightly.
But hey, for Russia to respond in any way to cyber defense experts being sent to Georgia it would have to acknowledge that it was directly supportive of, if not responsible for, the current attacks against Georgia’s cyber assets. Whether or not Russia reacts on the diplomatic front this cyber war has the potential of escalating rapidly if Estonia gets involved.
UPDATE: Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is now hosted on Estonian assets. I love Estonia.
Richard Stiennon is a security industry analyst. He is currently consulting, speaking and writing on all manner of security topics for IT-Harvest, the IT research firm he founded to cover the security space. He was most recently chief marketing officer for Fortinet. He has served stints at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Gartner, and Webroot Software.