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Massive DDoS Attack Gridlocks Internet Traffic In Burma

Scope of attack is bigger than previous politically motivated attacks in Estonia, Georgia
Just before holding its first real elections in more than 20 years, Burma's primary Internet services have been hit with a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that has disrupted service all over the country.

The attack on the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPT), Burma's primary Internet service provider, has been going on since Oct. 25, according to a blog posted yesterday by Arbor Networks, which studies DDoS attacks.

"While the motivation for the attack is unknown, Twitter and blogs have been awash in speculation ranging from blaming the Burma/Myanmar government [pre-emptively disrupting Internet connectivity ahead of the November 7 general elections] to external attackers with still mysterious motives," Arbor Networks says.

"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," Arbor Networks says. "At 10-15 Gbps, the Burma attack is significantly larger than the 2007 Georgia (814 Mbps) and Estonia DDoS.

"While DDoS against e-commerce and commercial sites are common [hundreds per day], large-scale geopolitically motivated attacks -- especially ones targeting an entire country -- remain rare," the blog says.

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