Thai government websites were “sort of DDoSed”

Hello all,

Last Wednesday several Thai government websites were apparently hit by distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Access was restored the following morning. This attack is allegedly a protest against  government’s plan to limit access to inappropriate sites.

A petition against the proposal dubbed “Great Firewall of Thailand” has been signed by thousands of people.

A typical DDoS attack exceeds the capacity to handle internet traffic by using a program or bot. But for this attack, people were asked on social networks to visit the websites and repeatedly refresh the pages

One of the posts that appeared on social media: “Next target, www.thaigov.go.th to show our opposition to the single gateway”

Websites of the ministry of information, communications and technology (ICT) and the main government website thaigov.go.th were among the targeted.

According to Somsak Khaosuwan, ICT Deputy Permanent Secretary, the site crashed mostly because it was overloaded by visitors checking to see whether an attack was happening and not really because of the ones who kept refreshing it

The Thai military government has increased censorship since it seized power. Last month it was said that the government was planning to set up a single government-controlled gateway as a “tool to control inappropriate websites and information flows from other countries”.

The public is angry because the cabinet had ordered for a single gateway to be imposed to block “inappropriate websites” and control the flow of information from overseas. This decision made by the cabinet meeting on 30 June, caused alarm as it was kept secret.

According to a  statement by Minister for Information Uttama Savanayana, a single gateway was only intended to reduce the cost of internet access and the decision is not finalised.

Will the DDoS have any impact?

Even though the citizens don’t look at it as an attack but civil disobedience, the military might go ahead with its firewall. The need for control, as it confronts the task of managing a sensitive royal succession, will probably trump any concerns it may have for the digital economy.

Slow internet speeds caused the industry to get rid of the single gateway Thailand used to have. Today there are 10, operated by private and state-owned companies. Many users believe that brining a single gateway would take away privacy. Users expressed their disagreement with the decision over social media sites.

for instance: “I personally & professionally support free flow of information & fair competition on ICTs,” said Supinya Klangnarong from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commissions (NBTC) on Facebook.

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Source: Akati

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