The nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, found its access to the Internet severed by a massive denial of service attack, according to a report by Arbor Networks.
The source or motivation of the attack isn’t known, but it is believed that the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have targeted the country’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (or PTT), the main conduit for Internet traffic in and out of the authoritarian nation.
A report on the Web page of the Myanmar Times dated November 1 notes widespread Internet outtages dating as far back as October 25 that have disrupted the tourism trade in Myanmar.
The PTT’s servers have been hit by what Arbor estimates as 10 to 15 Gbps of traffic, shutting down Internet access to that ministry and most public and private sector organizations. Local papers of the governments, suffered a
large, sustained DDoS attack disrupting most network traffic in and out
of the country.
Attempts to access the Web pages of a number of the country’s main ministries were unsuccessful on Wednesday. Arbor’s blog post suggests that efforts are being made within the country to sidestep attack, while upstream operators are beginning to filter out DOS traffic bound for the PTT address space.
Though the origin and purpose of the attack is unclear, the country is days away from a national election, though recent media reports suggest that it will be held under a cloud of heavy government censorship.The DDoS attacks could be politically motivated, though their exact purpose is unclear.
Denial of service attacks are perhaps the most common tool used in politically motivated attacks. The former Soviet republic of Estonia was the target of massive DDoS attacks in 2007, with the largest measured at around 100 Mbps. The attacks against Myanmar’s fragile Internet links are many times larger than that, Arbor pointed out.