Entries with tag internet communication disruptions.

Internet Access Halts in Syria

Internet traffic to and from Syria halted abruptly Tuesday. The Syrian government claims the disruption is the work of terrorists. Western security analysts claim the more likely explanation is that the Syrian government shut down the Internet as it did for three days in November 2012. David Belson, product line director for custom analytics and MCDN, Akamai Technologies, an Internet-content delivery service provider, told the BBC “the failure of a single optical cable [due to being cut] is unlikely to cause a complete internet outage for the country.” Observers assume the move is meant to subvert communication among opposition members who have fought a civil war against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for two years. The government-owned Syrian Arab News Agency reported that the fault would be fixed “as soon as possible.” (The Washington Post)(BBC)(CloudFlare)

Syria Restores Internet Connectivity

The Syrian government restored Internet access in the country, ending a widespread, 19-hour outage The government blamed a problem with fiber optic cables. The country has been locked in a civil war that has lasted about two years. However, diplomats and human-rights organizations claim the Syrian military is responsible for this outage and one that lasted three days in November 2012, as part of an effort to stifle opposition forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group monitoring both sides in the civil war told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that the latest blackout was part of a government operation. Both sides in the ongoing civil war are using cyberattacks. US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said the Syrian government, with Iranian help, has been monitoring the Internet and using it to track, arrest, and kill opposition activists. (The Telegraph)(CNN)

Spam Dispute Erupts into Cyberwar

An argument between a spam-fighting organization and a Dutch hosting firm erupted into a series of computer attacks The New York Times characterized as “one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.” The fracas began after Spamhaus purportedly placed Cyberbunker, a web hosting firm, on its blacklist, which is used by e-mail providers to prevent spam. Spamhaus claims the attacks started 19 March, but claims it has not been deterred from distributing its blacklist. The distributed-denial-of-service botnet attacks against Spamhaus have reportedly caused routine Internet users to have delays when attempting to reach web sites or disruptions in streaming services such as Netflix. The attacks involve a data stream of as much as 300 billion bits per second. The attackers are using spoofed Domain Name System addresses purporting to be from Spamhaus in an attack known as DNS amplification to cripple Spamhaus’s computing infrastructure. Spamhaus has enlisted assistance from CloudFlare, a company that secures websites and helps lessen the effects of distributed denial-of-service attacks. (The New York Times)(Ars Technica)

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