Sunday, November 14, 2010

Attack Severs Burma Internet

From Arbor Networks ....

Back in 2007, the Burmese government reportedly severed the country’s Internet links in a crackdown over growing political unrest.

Yesterday, Burma once again fell off the Internet. Over the last several days, a rapidly escalating, large-scale DDoS has targeted Burma’s main Internet provider, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPT), disrupting most network traffic in and out of the country.

While the motivation for the attack is unknown, Twitter and Blogs have been awash in speculation ranging from blaming the Burma / Myanmar government (preemptively disrupting Internet connectivity ahead of the November 7 general elections) to external attackers with still mysterious motives. The Myanmar Times reports the attack has been ongoing since October 25th (and adds the attack may impact Burma’s tourist industry).

We estimate the Burma DDoS between 10-15 Gbps (several hundred times more than enough to overwhelm the country’s 45 Mbps T3 terrestrial and satellite links). The DDoS includes dozens of individual attack components (e.g. TCP syn, rst flood) against multiple IP addresses within MPT’s address blocks (,, and The attack also appears fairly well-distributed — ATLAS data shows attack traffic across 20 or more providers with a broad range of source addresses.

While DDoS against e-commerce and commercial sites are common (hundreds per day), large-scale geo-politically motivated attacks — especially ones targeting an entire country — remain rare with a few notable exceptions. At 10-15 Gbps, the Burma attack is also significantly larger than the 2007 Georgia (814 Mbps) and Estonia DDoS. Early this year, Burmese dissident web sites (hosted outside the country) also came under DDoS attacks.

At present I do not know the motives for this attack but our past DDoS analysis have observed the gamut from politically motivated DDoS, government censorship, extortion and stock manipulation. I’ll update this blog if I get more details.

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