Child Soldiery in the Information Age


  • Ben O'Bright



In 2007, Estonia was the victim of a significant, coordinated cyberattack, which crippled government communications, newspaper websites, banks and other connected entities in Europe‘s most Internet-saturated country. At the time, leading theories suggested that Russia, or at the very least elements of its intelligence community, might be somehow involved, spurred by the physical symbolism of Estonia removing Soviet-era monuments from city squares and public spaces (Davis, 2007). Indeed, in an attempt to visibly remove its history of engagement as part of the Soviet Union, Estonian authorities and political figures had become determined to demolish and destroy remaining statues erected pre-1990. Two years after the cyberattack, an event that Wired Magazine colloquially termed “Web War One,” further details of the unexpected perpetrators would begin to emerge. According to reports by the Financial Times and Reuters, Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth group with an estimated membership of 150,000, claimed responsibility for the digital assault against Estonia; they described to authorities a strategy of repeated denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, (Clover, 2009; Lowe, 2009). Nashi members, based on different sources, range between the ages of 17 and 25 (Knight, 2007).






Research Articles