By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 10 November 2010 (Tibet Sun) – A leading news portal of the Tibetan Diaspora, Phayul.com, has been experiencing problems lately due to DDoS attacks that render the website slow and inaccessible.
The editor of the website, Kalsang Rinchen, said the attack was first spotted on 1 November. “Since then our webmaster has been trying to resolve the issue in consultation with our network service providers.”
The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack involves flooding a target with junk information that overwhelms the servers, causing them to freeze up.
It’s a tactic that is frequently used against popular websites and networks. DDoS is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the motives for, and targets of, a DoS attack may vary, the attack generally consists of concerted efforts to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all. Attacks sometimes occur only temporarily, or they may go on indefinitely.
In the case of Phayul.com, basically, there is congestion in the traffic on the server where a large number of users are intentionally logging on at the same time, causing the server to slow down or even to be completely unavailable.
“What will happen if a house that is built to accommodate 100 people is crowded by more than a thousand people — it will crash or crumble down,” Kalsang illustrates.
The source of the attack remains unknown, but Kalsang says that Chinese hackers cannot be ruled out as suspects.
“The perpetrators must be attempting to make the site slower and to reduce visitors.”
“I think they [the perpetrators] are trying to make people tired of seeing ‘server busy’ errors or the website not showing up, with an intention to make people slowly give up on attempting to visit our site again, thereby reducing our readership.”
Phayul.com is the foremost independent and self-reliant news portal in the exile Tibetan community.
Kalsang says that the attempts of the attackers on his site will not succeed. To speak the language of China’s propaganda machinery, Kalsang says, “Their attempts will be futile, and are bound to fail.”
The country of Burma experienced massive DDoS attacks in recent days, rendering its internet connections crippled. The nation held its infamous national elections on 7 November.
Some commentators believed that the attacks were carried out by the country’s military itself, to ensure as much censorship as possible. It makes it harder for people within Burma to communicate with the outside world about the election process.
In 2007 massive DDoS attacks successfully targeted the entire countries of Georgia and Estonia.