Cyber Attack Shuts Down Irrawaddy Websites

The websites of The Irrawaddy were under attack on Monday morning, shutting down its English and Burmese online editions. We are now working to restore service to our readers worldwide.


The attack also shut down the website of the editor, Aung Zaw (www.aungzaw.net).


The attack came on the third anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, the monk-led demonstrations in 2007.


According to an e-mail sent by the website host in the US to The Irrawaddy webmaster team, the website was attacked in a high volume attack which overloaded its capacity to provide service. The attack is called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.


A DDoS attack is defined as an attack in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service for users of the targeted system. A flood of incoming messages to the target system essentially forces it to shut down, thereby denying service to the system by legitimate users.


In September 2008, the website was also attacked by a DDoS attack. The volume of the DDoS attack on Monday was 2 gigabytes, one gigabyte larger than the attack in Sept. 2008, according to Win Thu, the general manager of The Irrawaddy.


Win Thu said that the attack would be short-term, but it has disrupted the daily news production and access by our readers.


Hackers began the attack on the English and Burmese website address: www.irrawaddy.org at 1 a.m on Monday and later attacked The Irrawaddy’s mirror website: www.irrawaddymedia.com.


The Irrawaddy web team is now trying to recover the websites. In 2008, it took three days to recover the website, according to technicians.


Two other Burmese news websites, Mizzima and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), were also attacked on Monday.


The Irrawaddy, DVB, Mizzima and a fourth site, Khitpyaing, were all attacked by DDoS in September 2008, on the anniversary of the Saffron Revolution.

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