San Francisco: Myanmar`s internet link to the world has been overwhelmed by a massive cyber attack, just days before the country`s first election in two decades, according to US network security firm Arbor Networks.
The so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack started in late October, but has grown in the last few days to completely bring down the country`s internet service provider, the ministry of post and telecommunications, Arbor Networks said in a blog posting.
The attack, which could be linked to an attempt to disrupt the country`s Nov 7 election, has spiked internet traffic targeting the country`s network to several hundred times greater than can be handled by Myanmar`s terrestrial and satellite links.
The DDoS attack was attempting to push 10-15 gigabits of data through those connections, which can only support about 45 megabits per second, Arbor Networks` Craig Labovitz estimated.
DDoS attacks typically utilize virus-laden PCs to bombard service providers with data requests and overwhelm them.
The attack on Myanmar could be the largest DDoS ever targeting a single country, since it was far larger than the attacks on Estonia and Georgia in 2007.
"While DDoS against e-commerce and commercial sites are common (hundreds per day), large-scale geo-politically motivated attacks - especially ones targeting an entire country - remain rare with a few notable exceptions," Labovitz wrote. "At 10-15 Gbps, the Burma attack is also significantly larger than the 2007 Georgia (814 Mbps) and Estonia DDoS."