- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Malaysia: Cyber Attacks Shut Down Independent News Website

Categories: East Asia, Malaysia, Digital Activism, Elections, Freedom of Speech, Media & Journalism, Technology

Malaysiakini [1], an independent news portal in Malaysia, has been inaccessible since Tuesday 12 April, 2011, after being targeted by cyber attacks [2]:

[3]

A cyber attack beginning at 11am today shut down Malaysiakini servers simultaneously, making the website inaccessible to readers four days ahead of the Sarawak election.

The Malaysiakini technical team has determined it to be a denial-of-service attack, where an attacker uses computers in different parts of the world to swarm Malaysiakini servers to the point that they are unable to cope with the massive traffic.

Both our servers, which are hosted at two data centres – TM Brickfields and Jaring – have been affected by the attack.

The attacks were launched a few days before the Sarawak state elections [4] whose results are expected to affect the chances of national political parties in the next elections.

Malaysiakini still inaccessible in Manila, capital of the Philippines. [5]

Malaysiakini still inaccessible in Manila, capital of the Philippines.

Fortunately, Malaysiakini’s news articles have been posted [6] on Facebook. Here is a list of alternative sites [7] to access Malaysiakini’s reports on the Sarawak elections:

  1. URL : http://27.131.49.132/
  2. Live Blog
    English: http://malaysiakinicom.wordpress.com/ or http://malaysiakinicom.blogspot.com/
    Mandarin : http://malaysiakinicn.blogspot.com/
  3. Facebook NotesEnglish : www.facebook.com/malaysiakini
    BM: www.facebook.com/mkinibm
    Mandarin: www.facebook.com/mkinicn
  4. Twitter accountsEnglish : mkini_en
    Mandarin : mkini_cn
    BM : mkini_bm

Aside from Malaysiakini, the hard-hitting website Sarawak Report was also targeted by cyber attacks. It has since then moved to a new address [8].

There are reports that Malaysiakini’s twitter account was also suspended. @mongabay [9] reacts:

Did #Twitter get fooled? Why did @twitter suspend @malaysiakini (Malaysia's independent news source presently under cyber attack)?

@alphiy [10] comments too:

Wait, what? Malaysiakini twitter account has been suspended? Goodness me. First, DDoS attack, and now this? Classy. Really matured.

[11]

Did Twitter suspend Malaysiakini's account?

On Facebook, Karpal Singh [12] accuses the ruling party of being behind the attacks:

MALAYSIAKINI HAS BEEN HIT BY DDOS,MALAYSIAKINI CEO SUSPECT THIS ATTACK IS RELATED TO SARAWAK ELECTION.I THINK ALL MALAYSIAN KNOW THAT BN GOVERMENT IS BEHIND THIS ATTACK

kranjini criticizes the ‘dirty tactics’ [13] used by the ‘interrupters’”

Well, well…..dirty tactics by…eerhmm…errhmm…we all know by whom ya**wink-wink**..
Thank GOD MalaysiaKini has got an alternative site.
Sorry interrupters, better luck to distort the network next time…**evil grin**

Enrico Aditjondro from EngageMedia urges netizens to support [14] Malaysiakini:

Help us keep the information from critical Malaysian websites up and flowing. Unprecedented attacks on these sites during the current elections in Sarawak are preventing people from accessing information about the corruption endemic in Malaysian politics.