Author Biography

Stephen Herzog is a visiting research associate with the Strategic Security Program at the Federation of American Scientists. He has published reports, journal articles, and op-ed commentaries on issues such as nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, NATO strategic and contingency planning, and U.S.-China relations. Most recently, his writing has been published in the Financial Times, The Hill, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. He holds an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Relations from Knox College.



Subject Area Keywords

Cybersecurity, Europe and EU, Global trends and risks, Information operations, Networks and network analysis, Nonstate actors, Science and technology & security, Russia


In April 2007, the Estonian Government moved a memorial commemorating
the Soviet liberation of the country from the Nazis to a less prominent
and visible location in Tallinn. This decision triggered rioting among
Russian-speaking minorities and cyber terrorism targeting Estonia's critical
economic and political infrastructure. Drawing upon the Estonian
cyber attacks, this article argues that globalization and the Internet have
enabled transnational groups—such as the Russian diaspora—to avenge
their grievances by threatening the sovereignty of nation-states in cyberspace.
Sophisticated and virtually untraceable political "hacktivists" may
now possess the ability to disrupt or destroy government operations,
banking transactions, city power grids, and even military weapon systems.
Fortunately, western countries banded together to effectively combat
the Estonian cyber attacks and minimize their effects. However, this
article concludes that in the age of globalization, interdependence, and
digital interconnectedness, nation-states must engage in increased cooperative cyber-defense activities to counter and prevent devastating Internet attacks and their implications.