Major cyber attacks disrupt internet service across the Maldives

Major cyber attacks disrupt internet service across the Maldives
January 13 12:56 2017

Disgruntled internet users are calling on telecoms companies for compensation after cyber attacks disrupted internet services across the Maldives for more than a week.

Dhiraagu, Ooredoo and Raajje Online blamed degradation of service on DDOs or distributed denial of service attacks from unknown culprits, but have declined to comment on the number of customers affected.

DDoS attacks work by bombarding targeted web services with traffic and overloading its servers. In November, DDOS attacks brought down the Bank of Maldives’ internet banking services.

According to telecoms companies, the current attacks began in the first week of January, and intensified on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, causing internet service to grind to a halt.

Dhiraagu, the largest provider of fixed broadband service, said its engineers are working around the clock to ensure good service.

A spokesman for Dhiraagu, Mohamed Mirushan, said: “At this point, it is difficult for us to say if these are targeted at the Maldives or not, because DDOS attacks have increased globally. International online services have also been brought down via these attacks.”

Noora Zahir, a spokesman for Ooredoo Maldives, said its mobile data customers have faced disruptions, but that its fixed broadband service was not affected.

She added: “We are using on-premises DDoS mitigation methods as well as global cloud solutions to reduce the impact of the attacks and ensure service continuity.”

In November, Dhiraagu and Ooredoo issued a joint statement after cyber attacks brought down BML and other web services hosted on Dhiraagu and Ooredoo servers.

In a separate development, Dhiraagu and Ooredoo customers reported being unable to make calls across networks on Tuesday. Ooredoo said the disruption was not related to the cyber attacks.

Global DDoS attacks on the rise: In October, some of the most popular sites on the web, including Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Spotify and newspapers, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian, were taken offline in one of the largest DDoS attacks ever reported.