The Ministry of Information has announced that its website was attacked by unidentified hackers and taken offline for several days.
A statement issued by the ministry on January 10 said that www.moi.gov.mm suffered a DDoS attack, or a distributed denial of service, which is typically a malicious attack that disrupts a network by flooding the bandwidth of the targeted system. DDoS attacks are one of the most common forms of hacking. As DDoS attacks are usually brought on by multiple places distributed around the internet, making the originator(s) of the attack are difficult to pin down.
The Ministry of Information said the DDoS attack began on January 7 at around 9:30pm. The web portal was taken offline starting at 4:00am on January 8, and continued to be down for approximately six and a half hours with both mobile and desktop users unable to access the page.
The MoI statement said that the attackers were using IP addresses from abroad, but did not further specify where the attacks had come from.
Though MoI said the attack ended by the morning of January 9, with locally-based desktop users again able to access www.moi.gov.mm. The MoI worked with officials from the Ministry of Transportation and Communication to recover the website, according to the statement. The website continues to be unavailable to mobile phone users and to user from abroad. “Potentially dangerous IPs entering the MPT gateway have been banned,” the statement said.
This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that it was the Ministry of Information’s website, www.moi.gov.mm, and not the MoI Facebook Webportal that was taken down by the DDoS attack last week. The Myanmar Times regrets the error.