Minister: Europe has not yet done enough on cyber-defence

Other News Materials 4 February 2009 15:32 (UTC +04:00)

Europe has not yet done enough to protect its internet and communications systems from web-based attacks, the politician whose country fought the world's first-ever cyber war told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Wednesday.

"A lot has been done, but whether enough has been done or not, I hesitate: most probably not," Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said in an exclusive interview with dpa.

Estonia's famously internet-based government fought off a major cyber-attack in April 2007 as pro-Russian hackers targeted the country in retaliation for the government's decision to relocate a Soviet-era war memorial from central Tallinn.

Aaviksoo, who was defence minister at the time, has since emerged as a leading authority on the issue, delivering the keynote speech to an EU cyber-defence seminar in Brussels on Wednesday.

But while the Tallinn incident kick-started a global debate on internet security and galvanized individual countries to strengthen their web defences, the European Union has not yet reacted with sufficient coordination, he said.

"For the time being, Europe's capability to defend itself from cyber-attacks is on the level of some of the capabilities of member states. Little value-added on the European level has been developed: we need to do more," he said.

In particular, the 27-member bloc must work harder to coordinate the efforts of various national defence and law-enforcement agencies and push for better cooperation with third countries which can serve as a safe haven for web-based attackers, he said. dpa bn ds