Monthly Archives: March 2015

BSA Report: Estonia one of most cyber-secure countries in EU


According to the recently published Business Software Alliance (BSA) report, Estonia, Austria and Netherlands are the most cyber-secure countries in Europe.

Although there are no overall rankings or scores in the study, Estonia comes out on top in terms of having in place the legal foundations and operational entities for tackling cyber-security issues. What it could do next is create sector specific cyber-security plans.

The report also found that while no formalized public-private partnerships exist, public entities do work closely with relevant private sector organisations.


Estonian IT College offers “Cyber Security Engineering” curriculum in English


Education: professional higher education
Language of instruction: English
Official length of programme: 3 years, 180 ECTS credits
Study form: daily study
Tuition fee: 2400 € per academic year
Start of studies: September 2015
Admission period: 11th of March – 7th of April 2015

Curriculum comprises the following modules:

  • Basic Skills and Competences (16 ECTS)
  • Basics of Information Technology (24 ECTS)
  • IT Systems Development (38 ECTS)
  • IT Systems Administration (22 ECTS)
  • Cyber Security (16 ECTS)
  • Elective subjects (32 ECTS)
  • Internship (27 ECTS)
  • Diploma Thesis (5 ECTS)


SignWise Chrome plugin leaks ID card certificate to arbitrary web sites


If you have installed the SignWise plugin (available for Windows and OSX, up to at least version 1.10) to your computer, beware of privacy considerations. SignWise Chrome extension forwards the end-user certificate of the inserted eID smart card without any user interaction to any website, in plain text!

A malicious web site has to embed only a few lines of JavaScript code to collect certificate information from its visitors:

var s = new SignWiseChromePlugin();
s.getAuthenticationCertificate(function(v, e) {…

Similar flaw in 2010 was observed in the official EstEID browser plugin. Will see how much time it will take for SignWise to fix this flaw.

Update from the SignWise Team:

SignWise is happy that our software and services are used by the experts who value the high level security. We are sorry that our provided software had such a problem as described in your post. As of today (12.03.2015) we are happy to inform that your described problem is solved and user information is not shared anymore as described in your post. Our products: SignWise Services ( and SignWise Portal ( have been built following highest standards of security and strict confidentiality in mind and following the business and security requirements and demands to e-sign high-value electronic documents both in-country and cross borders.


Attacks against Gemalto do not endanger the security of Mobile-ID


Gemalto, which is the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, launched an internal investigation after The Intercept six days ago revealed that the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ hacked the company and cyberstalked its employees. In the secret documents, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the intelligence agencies described a successful effort to obtain secret encryption keys used to protect hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe.

Some mobile operators in Estonia use Mobile-ID SIM cards supplied by Gemalto. Here is Estonian Certification Centre response:

Attacks against Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto which became public yesterday does not endanger Mobile-IDs. AS SK (Certification Centre) confirmed that the attacks against the world’s largest SIM card manufacturer Gemalto does not threaten the security of Estonian Mobile-ID.

“We analyzed the information available to us about the attack and verified that the Mobile-ID security is not affected, Mobile-ID is still secure, and users do not need to make adjustments to their normal behavior in any way,” said the head of the Certification Center Kalev Pihl.

Gemalto has released a public report where the company tries to downplay the significance of NSA and GCHQ hack. But that is understandable:

The company was eager to address the claims that its systems and encryption keys had been massively compromised. At one point in stock trading after publication of the report, Gemalto suffered a half billion dollar hit to its market capitalization. The stock only partially recovered in the following days.

Fortunately, the exploitation of the stolen symmetric keys requires the attacker to be in close proximity of the victim’s mobile phone and requires to perform active MITM attack at the moment when the victim performs Mobile-ID transaction.

Update about Estonian mobile network operators’ use of Gemalto SIM cards:

Estonian National Electoral Commission’s e-voting commission’s deputy chairwoman Epp Maaten said that among Estonian mobile operators, only EMT uses SIM cards issued by Gemalto, but only as pre-paid call cards and Gemalto is not the only vendor of the cards.


New director general of EISA Taimar Peterkop


Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Uve Palo signed a decree to appoint Taimar Peterkop for the Estonian Information System Agency (EISA) director-general. Taimar Peterkop is currently working in Ministry of Defence as Undersecretary for Legal and Administrative Affairs. He begins his work at EISA this May.

From the CV:

Taimar Peterkop was born on 20th January 1977 in Tallinn. He has graduated from the University of Tartu Faculty of Law and he has completed many in-service trainings, including the Higher Command Studies Course in Baltic Defence College. Mr Peterkop holds a Master`s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. He is also a reserve officer.

During 2000–2001 Taimar Peterkop worked as a lawyer in the Government Office. During 2001–2005 Mr Peterkop worked in the Ministry of Defence as the Director of International Law Office and during 2005–2008 as the Director of Operations and Crisis Management Department. From 2008 until July 2010 he worked as a Defence Counsellor in the Estonian Embassy in Washington.

Taimar Peterkop has also worked as a national defence teacher in several high schools and as an international law lecturer at Estonian Business School.