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Estonia is participating in the large-scale cyber exercise Blue OLEx in Paris

Today, on 3 July, a high-level exercise is taking place in Paris, led by the National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI), in which representatives of Estonia and other Member States of the European Union must resolve a developing cyber crisis.

 

Heads of cyber agencies of the European Union Member States are participating in the exercise. ‘The aim is to practice the worst-case scenario at the highest level of management,’ said Uku Särekanno, Director of Cyber Security of the Information System Authority. ‘In extensive crises, it is important for people in management positions to know each other, have each other’s contact details and the knowledge of practised plans for crises. This is the reason why Estonia has led pan-European exercises since its presidency of the Council of the EU and also contributes to the organising of the exercise this time,’ he added.

According to Särekanno, Estonia has been involved in solving numerous crises and it is becoming clearer year after year that cybersecurity requires efficient cooperation and data exchange with other countries. ‘Most of the scams or malware campaigns that have affected Estonia have been international. It is important for us to keep our networks clean, but the effect of operational cooperation with other countries is increasingly significant. We have the required contacts and procedures, but this does not apply to all other Member States of the EU,’ said Särekanno. In his opinion, the political level should be included in the exercises so that politicians would be aware of the risks of the cyber world.

During the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, an exercise was carried out for ministers of defence. In addition, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence organises Locked Shields, the largest cyber exercise in the world, every year; in Europe, the annual exercise Cyber Europe takes place under the leadership of the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

In 2017, two highly damaging malware campaigns spread on the Internet with only a month between them – WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya. Hundreds of thousands of devices were infected with the WannaCry ransomware, causing damage to medicine institutions, banks, telecommunications companies, industrial undertakings, and logistics enterprises in nearly 150 countries. The biggest losses were suffered by the Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, the local plants of the French car manufacturer Renault, and the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.

The NotPetya malware was spread via a Ukrainian accounting software and targeted business systems. Just Maersk and FedEx estimated the damage caused by NotPetya at up to 300 million dollars. The pharmaceutical company Merck and many others were also among the victims.

Seiko Kuik
Press Officer of the Information System Authority
6630 256
5851 7028

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