Telecommunications firm Dhiraagu has confirmed that websites in the Maldives have been targeted in apparent Denial of Service (DDoS) cyberattacks, according to local media.
DDoS attacks involve malevolently flooding a web server with queries, locking up bandwidth and preventing legitimate users from accessing a site.
New outlets Sun Online and Haveeru reported accessibility problems, particularly from abroad, according to reports this morning.
Speaking to Haveeru, Dhiraagu’s Marketing, Communications and Public Relations Manager Mohamed Mirshan claimed the attacks were targeted at the newspaper, and not Dhiraagu infrastructure.
“DDoS is very common all around the world. We have taken the same measures taken internationally. DDoS cannot be controlled by anyone other than its originators. The only thing we can do is mitigate the attacks. Dhiraagu has also taken all necessary measures taken against it worldwide,” Mirshan told Haveeru.
Meanwhile, an anonymous email was sent to police and several media outlets, including Sun and Haveeru, from a group claiming to take responsibility for recent attacks on Dhiraagu’s web servers.
“For years our main Internet Service Provider and Communication Provider “Dhiraagu” has been taking our money from us. No government of the Maldives helped us solve this problem. No politician gives a damn about improving the Information Technology and its awareness in Maldives,” the email read, promising escalating cyber attacks “with inside help from Dhiraagu employees”, on targets including government email servers and the provider’s ADSL service.
Dhiraagu’s media division referred Minivan News to Mirshan, who was not responding to Minivan News at time of press.
Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said police had not received reports of such an incident.
“We have a financial unit that currently investigates such cases, but we are in the process of trying to establish a cybercrime unit that should be operating in 2-3 months,” Haneef said.
Following attacks that affected the company’s web services in January 2011, Mirshan told Minivan News that the company had been receiving such attacks since August 2009, which he claimed were “very organised.”
“We have been working with our counterparts both in the country and overseas around the clock in order to try and minimise the impacts of the attack on our services,” Mirshan said at the time.