07/28/2011, 00.00
MYANMAR

Cyber war: Myanmar leader in attacks in 2011

In the first quarter of 2011, 13 per cent of all cyber attacks in the world came from the country formerly known as Burma, ahead of the United States, Taiwan and China; in 2010, it did not even make the top ten list. Only 2 per cent of the population has access to a heavily censored internet. Egypt and Libya lead the world in most internet outages.
Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In the first three months of 2011, Myanmar was the largest source of cyber attacks in the world, a far cry from last year when it did not appear in the top ten list, this according to a report issued by the leading US tracking company Akamai.

The survey also found that Egypt and Libya experienced major Internet outages in the first quarter of this year when their governments sought to cut off access in response to widespread protests.

In that same period, Myanmar accounted for 13 per cent of total global attack traffic. Thus, a country where only 2 per cent of the population has access to the internet pulled ahead of the Unite States (10 per cent), Taiwan (9 per cent), Russia and China.

What is not clear is whether the attacks are the work of individuals or organised local groups, or whether the country is used as a proxy to strike at sensitive targets.

Cyber attackers are in fact known to use countries like Myanmar, China and Russia, even Israel and Kazakhstan, because of their malleable internet security laws, or take advantage of local policies that promote web wars.

Last year, the Burmese government announced plans to boost access to the web, something activists and experts dismiss as a smokescreen since it continues to enforce heavy-handed censorship and controls.
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