Internet 'attack' in Burma ahead of poll
A MASSIVE cyber attack has crippled internet services in Burma ahead of Sunday's election, IT experts and web service providers say, raising fears of a communications blackout for the vote.
- November 04, 2010 3:24PM
Internet users in the military-ruled country have reported slow connections and sporadic outages for more than a week, and some suspect the junta may be intentionally disrupting services to block news flowing out.
Web service providers have blamed the troubles on outside attacks.
"Our technicians have been trying to prevent cyber attacks from other countries," a technician from Yatanarpon Teleport Co told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"We still do not know whether access will be good on the election day," he added.
A technician from private web provider RedLink Communications Co. said there was still intermittent loss of internet connection.
"The technicians are trying to fix it.... We cannot tell exactly when it will be back to full service," he said. "We don't know the source of the attack yet."
Experts say Burma's internet system has been overwhelmed by a flood of incoming messages known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
US-based IT security firm Arbor Networks says the main state-owned internet provider Burma Post and Telecommunications "suffered a large, sustained DDoS attack disrupting most network traffic in and out of the country."
The onslaught was "several hundred times" more than enough to overwhelm the country's terrestrial and satellite links, it estimated.
The motives for the attack were unclear, but "large-scale geo-politically motivated attacks -- especially ones targeting an entire country -- remain rare," Arbor Networks chief scientist Craig Labovitz wrote in a blog posting.