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Cyber assault brings down presidential website

A denial of service attack (DDoS) was launched against the president’s office website Tuesday morning bringing down the head of state’s page.

According to presidential spokesperson Zaw Htay, the site was first attacked on 5 February from 9am to 10am. Around 11am, DDOS flooding, originating from IP addresses in Russia, Malaysia and America began assaulting the site.

“There were millions of hits on the website and now it’s down,” said Zaw Htay.

A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disable a website by overwhelming the site with information requests so that it cannot respond to regular traffic.

No groups have formally claimed responsibility for the attack on the website.

The DDoS assault comes after The Voice Weekly’s Facebook page was hacked by a group identifying themselves as Anonymous Myanmar yesterday, in what appears to be a blatant ploy to align themselves with global hacker group Anonymous.

The page’s banner was changed, which led to an enormous amount of user feedback. The Voice’s Facebook page is currently down.

“They deliberately attacked us. We cannot access our admin account,” said The Voice’s chief editor Kyaw Min Shwe.

“We are trying to stick with journalistic values, but there may be some people who hate us. Because the attack happened online, it’s hard to identify the people behind it.”

The chief editor went on to blame insufficient legislation, namely the Electronic Act, which can be used to incarcerate people for using technology but fails to effectively prevent cyber attacks from occurring within the country.

“This type of destructive behavior is not good for our society. We need to work for the country with honesty and stand firm,” said Kyaw Min Shwe.

“It is against democracy to defame people through a personal attack. If we are on the track to democracy we should behave as good citizens.”

The Voice’s Facebook account has 102,822 followers.

Similar attacks have happened to the Facebook pages of 88 Generation Students’ leader Min Ko Naing and Eleven Media Group’s CEO Than Htut Aung in the past.

DDoS assaults were also used against Burmese-exile media groups in 2008 and 2010 on the anniversary of the September 2007 uprising, as well as in response to DVB’s coverage of the rioting in Arakan state last year.


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