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Myanmar Hit by Massive Cyber Blitz Days before Election

A deluge of cyber attacks have paralyzed Internet services in Myanmar, just days before the Nov. 7 election, raising fears of a communications blackout for the vote, AFP reports.

Internet users have reported slow connections and intermittent outages for more than a week, and some suspect the junta is may be intentionally disrupting services to block news from reaching out. However, web service providers have blamed the problems on outside attacks, according to AFP.

“Our technicians have been trying to prevent cyber attacks from other countries,” a technician from Yatanarpon Teleport Co. told AFP on condition of anonymity. “We still do not know whether access will be good on the election day.”

IT security firm Arbor Networks said the main state-owned Internet provider Myanmar Post and Telecommunications had been hit by a large DDoS attack disrupting most network traffic entering and exiting the country. The cyber blitz was “several hundred times” more than enough to overwhelm the country’s terrestrial and satellite links, the firm estimated.

The motives for the attacks remain unclear, but some Internet users believe the authorities are intentionally slowing services ahead of Sunday’s vote, the first in two decades in military-ruled Myanmar.

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