Another conflict has flared up elsewhere on Russia’s borders, with fighting continuing in Ukraine. This cross-border conflict aims to destabilize the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but is likely to spread to other countries.
The Lithuanian government and public service portals were attacked by Russian hackers last month, in response to Lithuania’s implementation of a set of European Union sanctions on goods to and from Kaliningrad, a Russian city located between Lithuania and Poland. and the Russian hackers promise More attacks in the future, and take responsibility for that attack.
“The offensive will continue until Lithuania lifts the blockade,” a group spokesman told Reuters. So far, we have destroyed only 1,652 web resources. ”
As the first countries to become independent from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Baltic states had been at the forefront of electronic warfare for decades, and they remained anti-Russian in their stance and thus bore the brunt of Russia’s increasingly sophisticated cyber attack.
This critical situation was exacerbated in the mid-2000s by a series of aggressive Russian cyber attacks, as the Estonian parliament, various ministries, media organizations and banks suffered a series of powerful cyber attacks in 2007 due to the country’s stance on moving a Soviet era monument. In the capital, Tallinn. Officials in the Baltic states saw the attack as a prelude to an attack that could cripple electricity networks and cripple the entire country.
The severity of that attack, which lasted 22 days, forced Estonia to take measures to isolate the country from the effects of digital warfare, and the method was simple: to provide as many government services and systems as possible on private and secure networks. place and improve Cyber security.
Eventually, Estonia transferred the services of citizens and basic functions of government to the Blockchain, which became the first country in the world to use technology to protect its data. Thus Estonia has created a country that can be effectively governed from anywhere in the world, and when a Russian invasion or cyber attack takes place with the aim of paralyzing basic services, Estonia can The political leadership can flee the country and it from drive anywhere else.
This model will not work in all countries, as the Baltic states offer a futuristic idea of how to build cyber security systems that can withstand the vulnerabilities of our technological era thanks to their small size and large technological sector. And as more small countries with smart legislative environments embrace intellectual-fueled economies, the quality of their cybersecurity systems will determine which countries will thrive in the next world order.
The bright side of this defensive stance is that the citizens of the Baltic states are able to live in digital republics, as described by The New Yorker for Estonia, and by investing in complex digital infrastructure, the Estonian government enables citizens and residents able to live most of their lives online, and they can sign and access virtually all government services through their unique Estonian digital identity, a system created in 2002.
In 2014, the country launched the world’s first e-housing program with the goal of reaching 10 million e-residents by 2025, and although 85,000 people have become e-residents so far, the program has allowed entrepreneurs around the world to more than 19 000 A digital company without the need to be physically present, from freelancers to experienced entrepreneurs and digital mobile phones, e-residency in Estonia has made it possible for a company registered online in the European Union from any place in the world.
The future of wars is digital because the future of societies is also digital, and the renewed hostility between the Baltic states and Russia has become large laboratories to determine the direction in which cyber conflict patterns are heading, and countries in the Middle East, such as . the United Arab Emirates and Israel, pay special attention to how the characteristics of electronic warfare and defense strategies are evolving.
The reason is twofold. Over the past decade, the UAE has invested considerable resources in following the Estonian model as a digital republic, from the introduction of government-level blockchain resources to plans to create similar electronic accommodation programs. There are strong ties linking the UAE to the Baltic states, and in In recent months, Emirati officials have also discussed the need to build a better cyber security infrastructure to protect the country’s knowledge economy.
Many analysts agree that if the conflict breaks out between the Gulf states and Iran, it will involve dangerous cyber attacks from both sides. Israel and Iran have already exchanged cyber attacks, and some fear that these attacks will escalate beyond military infrastructure and achieve vital civilian targets. .
Whatever tomorrow may bring, cyberattacks will determine the future of conflict, and the steps the Baltic states have taken to defend against Russian aggression must be monitored for clues and ideas about the contours of that future.