back to article Estonia cuffs suspect, claims he's a Russian 'hacker spy'

Russia has denied that a person nabbed by Estonian local authorities was one of its spies. Estonia alleges the suspect had been intent on hacking into the Baltic country’s computer network. Alexei Vasilyev, 20, was arrested in the northeastern border city Narva on 4 November as he was about to leave Estonia by officials of the …

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Any moment now

The Donald will tweet this is "Fake News"

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Round up the usual suspects

A Russian spy in need for hacking into Estonian state institutions has absolutely ZERO need to be in Estonia. In fact, that would be the last country he would be if he needs to do it.

Now Estonia desperately needing to continue cranking the anti-Russian hysteria to get more NATO "support" and more justification to disenfranchise their minorities.

That is a completely different story. <SARCASM>Totally unrelated you know</SARCASM>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Round up the usual suspects

How's the weather in St Petersburg today?

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Re: Round up the usual suspects

Actually, hacking from inside Estonia or another friendly country (or having the VPN so configured) might buy some time before it is realized who is behind the hack.

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Re: Round up the usual suspects

When the British Empire came to an end in Africa in the 1960s, most of the British settlers returned to Britain. A few, however, came to terms with the locals and stayed on as citizens of the new states.

There is an analogous problem with Russian people still living in Estonia and the other Baltic states. To which state are they loyal? They should follow the British example.

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Re: Round up the usual suspects

Do you have any evidence that a significant number of ethnic Russians living in Estonia are (in general) loyal to Russia rather than Estonia? The ones I know fall into two categories:

- Those born in Estonia and given Estonian citizenship either because they can pass the language test or because they are descendants of a citizen of the first Estonian republic (1919 - 1939) are generally loyal to Estonia (the majority, particularly of younger Russians).

- Those denied citizenship and therefore effectively stateless (no passport, can't vote) despite being born in the country because they don't pass the criteria above are rather more keen on Russia. I think we can all see an easy way to solve that problem.

Note 1 - The situation in Lithuania is rather different to the other two Baltic states because there everyone resident at the time of independence could become a citizen if they wanted to no matter how well they spoke Lithuanian.

Note 2 - Yes, the UK imposes a language requirement for those wanting to gain citizenship, but not (and this is the key point) for people who were born here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Round up the usual suspects

Yes - there are a number of solutions to that problem. But expelling these people is generally frowned upon.

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Re: Round up the usual suspects

Perhaps what's needed is a scapegoat to draw attention away from the vulnerability recently discovered in Estonia's system. It seems many stories these days are of this variety; they don't aim to persuade you of anything, just to get some other, troublesome story off your mind.

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Re: Round up the usual suspects

New to information security? There are plenty of reasons for being in country when attempting to infiltrate a systems network.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, he made the statement of being in the FSB. So take him at his word and add espionage charges along with hacking. Make an example of him. Whether or not the Russians admit to it, a signal will be sent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Round up the usual suspects

"Now Estonia desperately needing to continue cranking the anti-Russian hysteria to get more NATO "support" and more justification to disenfranchise their minorities."

Let me guess, with a comment like that you live in Belyayevo and you work for Sputnik International, right?

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Of course he's not an "agent"

"Agent" from a services' perspective is a bad guy. What you need to ask is whether the individual is an "intelligence officer". Razvedchik, I believe.

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'Russian ambassador to Estonia Alexander Petrov told Interfax on Monday that he was “perplexed as to why the Estonian authorities said right after his detention that he is an FSB agent”, Estonian news outlet ERR reports.'

Well the Russians are actually going to admit it are they.

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Anonymous Coward

Minorities

Many Western countries have used the law to persecute minorities. This even happened in the UK, just thing of the Guildford 4 and the Birmingham 6. Almost all countries have done this, even nice ones - the Irish authorities treat their traveller pretty poorly, and all of Europe mistreats the Roma.

The difference is that the UK government got quite a bit of stick from its friends and allies for doing so: Estonia is being actively encouraged by its NATO partners to do this sort of thing. The end result is that it only strengthens the nationalist resolve in Russia, making certain individuals very popular, mainly because most Russians have relatives and friends in the former soviet republics.

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Re: Minorities

I live next to Estonia, we have same problems with the more stupid part of russians(though they are from various nations, but are referred to as russians because of language and their support for soviet union aka. russia)

1)they refuse to learn local language

2)they support putins regime that is hostile to the countries, EU, NATO and democracy itself, while enjoying all freedoms granted by EU etc.

3)they worship soviet regime and deny crimes against humanity committed by that regime, imagine germans living in Israel worshiping Hitler and demanding locals to speak to them in german - thats how stupid the situation is.

4)Hate the countries they live in but somehow dont want to go back to putins "paradise"

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Re: Minorities

--> 1)they refuse to learn local language

What percentage of Brits living in Spain or France have learned the language? Besides, Estonian? Pretty difficult, I'd say. Not a very good time investment, especially for an adult learner. I live in Belgium, similar issue. They should switch to English, but nah, that would be too easy.

--> 2)they support putins regime that is hostile to the countries, EU, NATO and democracy itself, while enjoying all freedoms granted by EU etc.

I'm glad to hear that the EU is highly democratic, as evidenced by their love of and respect for the people's will, referenda, etc.

3)they worship soviet regime and deny crimes against humanity committed by that regime, imagine germans living in Israel worshiping Hitler and demanding locals to speak to them in german - thats how stupid the situation is.

So a state of mind, a sentiment is an excuse for making people 2nd-class citizens. How about worshiping God or Allah, how is that different? Besides, why should they care about a country that's the only place they've known, but discriminates against them?

4)Hate the countries they live in but somehow dont want to go back to putins "paradise"

So Russia is just the Soviet Union? If so, how did the Baltic States get out? Did they fight, or were they let go by this USSR-lite?

Enjoy having your country be a missile launchpad; after all, what could go wrong?

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Re: Minorities

Enjoy having your country be a missile launchpad; after all, what could go wrong?

still better than what happened in 1940.

our country got to experience both hitlers and stalins regime, it was better off under hitler - if you were wondering why people in this part of the world generally view ussr as the worst regime(at least in western world) in 20th century.

and yes, russia is ussr lite - kgb still in charge, and still one glorious leader, though less male kissing than in ussr(check the videos if you dont believe)

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Facepalm

Re: Minorities

Interesting you talk about minorities, as the person in question is a Russian citizen (which, given the lack of a denial, seems to be accepted by the Russian ambassador as well), not Estonian.

Which begs the question, why start commenting about minorities in Estonia? Did you get a little note this morning on your desk AC, or do you work from home and get an email or text?

Does it pay well? Do you have to be fluent in English, or are you given talking points so you can copy and paste?

If they were given to you you should probably go back to your handler and mention that the Guildford 4 and the Birmingham 6 weren't actually minorities (although there are areas of Birmingham where white people make up less than 50% of the population, they're still the largest ethnic group).

Still, why let facts get in the way of a good bit of misdirection eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Minorities

Thank you for your corrections - you are right, establishments used to put signs out saying "No dogs, no whites", and "No blacks, no whites, no dogs". Silly me, how could I have thought it was "No dogs, no Irish" and "No blacks, no Irish, no dogs".

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Minorities

"The end result is that it only strengthens the nationalist resolve in Russia, making certain individuals very popular, mainly because most Russians have relatives and friends in the former soviet republics."

Can you elaborate in more detail on how exactly Russian national resolve affect Estonian citizenship in Estonia?

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps you should read the sentence a bit more carefully. Google translate does a terrible job.

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