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Is Burma Really No. 1 in Internet attack traffic?


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The “State of the Internet Report” published by the US Internet Technology firm Akamai has identified Burma as the top source of Internet attack traffic. Burmese Internet experts have expressed doubts about the claim.
 
Despite its very slow Internet connections and a limited number of Internet users, Burma was ranked No. 1 in the list of sources of attack traffic, generating 13 percent of attack traffic worldwide during the first quarter of 2011, according to the report. 

The Burmese information firm, Myanmar Info-Tech. Photo: Mizzima 
The report used the word “most notably” to express its [Akamai’s] finding in which 199 countries were cited as originating attacks during the first quarter of 2011.
 
The US and Taiwan held the second and third places, respectively, the report said.
 
Aung Myo Kyaw, an IT specialist from with the India-based Burma Information Technology Team, said that some attack traffic might not have been carried out by Burmese citizens, but that the Internet paths in Burma might be misused by people in other countries to carry out attacks.
 
“In today’s world, we cannot definitely say that it was carried out by Burmese citizens. We need to be aware that the restrictions on ‘immigration’ in the Internet world are many times lower than those in the real world,” he said. He said it was possible that tourists in Burma also could carry out attacks.
 
Another IT expert in Burma who asked for anonymity said that Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Burma had weak points regarding security, such as giving data regarding Internet servers to customers.
 
“The first weak point is that in accordance with the ‘Network Designs,’ Internet users in Burma have to fill out facts (regarding internet servers) when they use the Internet. Hackers can get those facts easily. No country gives out facts regarding international level Internet servers,” the IT expert said.
 
On the other hand, some local and foreign experts have said that the Burmese army has given students at the Defence Services Technological Academy (DSTA) scholarships to foreign countries to learn technologies to be used in "cyber warfare."
 
IT experts said that officers who graduated with computer-related degrees in Russia controlled Internet networking systems in Burma.
 
In Burma, the Myanmar [Burma] Posts and Telecommunications provides limited Internet bandwidth connection for civilians in Burma, while government departments and the army are provided with high bandwidth connections under the Ministry of Defence, according to a local IT expert.
 
Former Major Sai Thein Win who defected from the Burmese army said that his Facebook and Gmail accounts were hacked in early May 2011, probably by hackers in Burma.
 
“The reason for a growing number of Internet attacks originating from Burma is probably that the government is trying to carry out more investigations about opposition groups and people,” Sai Thein Win said.

According to figures compiled by MPT, there were 400,000 Internet users in Burma as of July 2010.

How to account for Burma’s No. 1 world rating, surpassing countries that are far more advanced technically, remains a puzzle.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 August 2011 12:08 )  

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