Sunday, October 24, 2010

Independent Myanmar Publication Claims Cyberattack

From the New York Times ...

BANGKOK — The Web site of The Irrawaddy, a magazine based in Thailand that is a leading source of news and criticism of the junta in Myanmar, has come under attack and been blocked by hackers, its editor, Aung Zaw, said on Monday.

The “distributed denial of service” attack just after midnight was similar but more sophisticated than an attack that forced the temporary closing of the site two years ago. Mr. Aung Zaw said it was not clear whether the attack came from inside Myanmar or from China, a close ally. Visitors to the Web site,, have been redirected to a mirror site while technicians seek to restore it.

“This is a new game, a new frontier” in the government’s struggle against its opponents, Mr. Aung Zaw said. “It shows how vulnerable we are.”

1 comment:

Jared Coppotelli said...

This article is particularly relevant due to the recent DDOS attacks that took place on Mastercard, Paypal and Visa’s websites in the past two days. The particularly surprising facet of DDOS attacks is that they can not only come from anywhere in the world, but they also don’t necessarily need to come from sophisticated sources to have profound impacts on companies. For example, Activision recently discovered that the online version of one of its most popular games, Call of Duty, was subject to a DDOS attack that was preventing users from fully accessing the game. After extensive research into the attack and an ultimate discovery of the IP address of the source that caused the attack, it was revealed the attack was the work of one seventeen year old teenage male in Manchester. That certainly speaks to the rudimentary level of sophistication that hackers need in order to follow through with a successful DDOS attack. In recent news, the alleged source of the attacks was a 30,000 node botnet operated from over 3,000 computers. To my knowledge, the DDOS attacks actually affected MasterCard’s SecureCode service, which is used to add a security code for use in online transactions. Although the issue was ultimately resolved, it is surprising to learn that a powerful botnet has the ability to halt important transactions on the website of one of the world’s leading credit card providers. These types of cyber activists, who sympathize with Julian Assange, certainly represent a new age of protesters. These activists have the ability to affect many types of companies, such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, which were two targets by the same group that has been sympathizing with Assange. There are even political repercussions to these activists’ work, as Operation Payback has been linked to attacking websites belonging to Wikileaks critics such as U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and Sarah Palin. These attacks prove how truly susceptible we all are to new waves of rising Internet disruption and cyber crime.