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ASEAN ANALYSIS  5 November 2010

“Who dun it” in Myanmar?

By  David Swartzentr​uber

AseanAffairs     5 November 2010

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Three days before the controversial elections are to be held in Myanmar, a cyber-attack has hit Myanmar’s highly censored Internet. Internet users in the military controlled country are reporting slow connections and occasional outages that may be designed to isolate the country from news flowing out or in.

US-based IT security firm Arbor Networks said the main state-owned Internet provider Myanmar Post and Telecommunications "suffered a large, sustained DDoS attack disrupting most network traffic in and out of the country."

Reports so far from Myanmar indicate that some want to fully participate in the election while others may choose to boycott as an indication that they feel the election is not fair and not transparent.

It has been pointed out that during the 2007 protests led by monks, the Internet was used for extensive video and news leaks, including the shooting of a Japanese journalist.

Another video leak that occurred earlier was a video of the wedding of the daughter of a top Myanmar general showing a wedding necklace worn by the bride estimated to be worth at least US$ 1 million.

This type of attack directed toward one country remains rare according to Internet security experts

The mystery of the Internet disruption will undoubtedly remain unsolved as the ruling junta in Myanmar is not known for transparency.

Foreign journalists and election monitors are not being allowed into the country for the election, so with an Internet disruption the junta can spin any tale it wants to about election day, Sunday, November 7, in Myanmar.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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