Press statement regarding DDOS attack on BERSIH 2.0 website – 18 April 2012

Bersih2.0 Thursday April 19th, 2012 1

BERSIH 2.0 condemns the irresponsible action by certain people on Apr 17, 2012.  Under an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, BERSIH 2.0 website became almost inaccessible for 13 hours from 2pm on April 17, 2012.

BERSIH 2.0 reads such an attack as a sign of fear by certain quarters of the BERSIH 3.0 sit-in on April 28.

This shows that the BERSIH 3.0 protest is winning hearts and minds of the Malaysian public, home and abroad, despite an apparent attempt to black out BERSIH 2.0 in the mainstream media.

BERSIH 2.0 calls upon the Malaysian public to step up their support for electoral reform and spread the message of the April 28 sit-in through all channels, online and offline.

Like the DDoS attack which was contained within hours, the informational blackout on BERSIH 3.0 will fail disastrously and the Merdeka Square will be a sea of yellow in ten days’ time.

The attack which lasted from 2pm, April 17 to 3am the next day caused the website to become difficult to access from 2pm onwards. The load caused by the attack averaged about 1 million requests per hour, which is more than 100 times the traffic that a typical news portal like Malaysia Today would have.

We believe this irresponsible action or attack is to silence BERSIH 2.0 from communicating with the public on issues related to Malaysia electoral system in general and on the upcoming BERSIH 3.0 sit-in protest in particular.

Two network traffic charts below captured what happened to BERSIH website yesterday.

Chart 1

Chart 1 shows shows the incoming attack traffic. Note that the normal traffic of BERSIH website usually fluctuates within 1 or 2Mbps (megabits per second), but the sudden surge at 2pm by close to a hundred times indicates the beginning of the DDoS attack. The heavy traffic made the website almost inaccessible.

Chart 2

Chart 2 shows the traffic when we transferred it to the mitigation platform to contain it. The attack persisted while being mitigated until 3am the following day.

This is not the first time that BERSIH website faces attacks. Back in 2011 over the days leading to BERSIH 2.0 rally on Jul 9, similar incident happened to BERSIH website. Other websites like news portal Malaysiakini and whistleblower website Sarawak Report faced similar incidents over different times.

Such online attacks to silence the right to expression will fail miserably as Malaysians from all walks of life march towards freedom. Nothing will stop the largest sit-in in Malaysia’s history on April 28.

Salam BERSIH

Steering Committee

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)

The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh, Zaid Kamaruddin.

One Comment »

  1. Patrick Chen Monday April 30th, 2012 at 01:31 PM - Reply

    I’ve checked my status online at SPR website. Confusing description: On one hand, it shows “Daftar Pemilih yang disahkan” with voting location. On the other hand, with asterisk, for new voters, it shows “Pengesahan ditangguhkan kerana parlimen dibantah”. Is this normal or fraudulent?

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