Bahrain ‘facing major Internet disruption’
Manama, March 31, 2013
Internet users in Bahrain are facing weeks of disruption following what experts are saying is the biggest cyber attack in history by saboteurs, a report said.
Millions of people worldwide have already suffered days of slow speeds, according to the report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Spamhaus, a UK spam filtering organisation which helps weed out "spam" messages for e-mail providers, was subjected to more than a week of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, the report added.
It overloads servers by flooding them with data which limits or stops users from accessing them.
Spamhaus alleged a Dutch company working with cyber criminals in Eastern Europe and Russian was responsible for the cyber attack.
"We have been given reports that the spam attack is affecting Bahrain but we still don't know to what extent," said a well-placed source.
"Almost all the Middle East countries have been affected by the slowdown but it will not be as apparent to consumers as the Internet speed in the region is generally less than the fibre optic connections in Europe."
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said an attack by saboteurs on a key underwater Internet cable near Alexandria last Wednesday was also to blame for the problem.
It links south-east Asia to Europe via the Indian sub-continent and Middle East.
"The incident is causing Internet slowdown in the Far East, Middle East, Pakistan, India and North Africa," said the TRA.
"Some services in Bahrain have been impacted, such as dedicated leased lines for enterprise customers and the Internet. Licensed operators are implementing the use of alternate routes to mitigate the impact. It is estimated that several weeks will be required to repair the cable."
Egyptian authorities reportedly arrested three divers who tried to cut through the Internet cable.
Internet users in Bahrain will have noticed an increased amount of spam mail and slow Internet, particularly while streaming videos or music.
Reports indicate that the spammers have been using direct network addresses for DDoS attacks, which are almost impossible to stop.
Others indicated the attacks had reached a speed of 300 gigabytes per second, compared to around 50 gigabytes per second, which could take down a bank's server. – TradeArabia News Service