Did you have problems reading the latest posting from Malaysia-Today entitled ‘The attacks on Malaysia-Today”?

Well, I’m reproducing the entire article here which is self-explanatory.

THE ATTACKS ON MALAYSIA-TODAY
Posted by admin
Monday, 28 September 2009 16:21

The MCMC has in the past failed to silence Malaysia Today officially through blocking it in August 2008. Now, with even more revelations of various scandals of the government exposed through this site, we can’t help but suspect that there is a more significant force, a hidden hand at play aimed at bringing down Malaysia Today.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First of all, I have received tons of happy birthday messages via SMS, Facebook, e-mails and postings on this site. Initially, I tried to reply to all these messages one by one but as the messages flooded in I found it impossible to reply to each and every message individually. Therefore, I would like to say thank you and at the same time apologise to all those I was not able to personally reply to.

Now, you may have noticed that of late Malaysia Today has been ‘off the air’ almost every day, sometimes for a stretch of many hours. This has been going on for more than a week. The man leading our technical team thought that maybe we should inform our readers about what is happening so that you can be kept abreast of the developments. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to solve this problem.

Nevertheless, there is just so much we can do. Money, of course, is one issue that we have to address, as what would be required does cost us quite a sum. Money aside, though, if they choose to continue the attacks, even money can’t solve the problem. We just have to pick ourselves up and start all over again whenever we are hit and bear the disruptions to the site with a stiff upper lip.

Anyway, let our technical team explain what is the problem we have been facing.

What happened to Malaysia Today

By Malaysia Today’s technical team

With so much confusion and speculation making its rounds about what is happening to Malaysia Today over more than a week, we are compelled to offer our explanation so that the record can be set straight. Only limited technical details will be mentioned to allow you to appreciate the scale of challenge the site is facing.

You may now be aware that the site has been up and down since Friday, 17 September 2009. This was due to malicious activities by those behind the effort to cripple Malaysia Today. This is just one of the many rounds of cyber-attacks that we at Malaysia Today have had to face for more than a year now.

Coincidentally, this latest round of attacks started immediately after RPK’s explosive expose two weeks ago on Tuesday regarding the Malaysian Cabinet’s knowledge and ‘approval’ of the PKFZ scandal long before it became public knowledge. Suspicious activities against the site happened as early as Wednesday, but the first damage was done in the afternoon of Thursday, which brought the site down.

The site was quickly recovered and by 6.00pm we were up and running again although with some loss of data. The attack revolved around the long-time problem faced by the site – a rather old version of Joomla content management system and the use of third-party components.

Lack of resources (financial, manpower, etc.) has always been a challenge faced by Malaysia Today, which affected the maintenance and operations of the site. During the recovery process, we locked down the site to reduce the danger of further compromises.

The next wave of attacks came the following day on Friday. This time it was in a wave of DDoS traffic crippling one of our nodes at Singapore. The Singapore node operates with about 30Mbps of bandwidth, a luxury by Malaysian standards but far short if we need to match any serious DDoS attacks. The node was basically choked with illegitimate traffic. Typical of DDoS network attacks, the origin of the attacks is difficult to pinpoint and sometimes pointless as the attack agents/zombies are likely compromised systems themselves.

We then activated our resources at our US node to recover the site. The process required optimisation of the site to cope with demand. (The demand on the site seemed much higher, possibly due to the interest on the PKFZ expose.) Hence the intermittent site outage, due to either overloading or optimisation process.

Being a service provider of a larger scale and sophistication, the US node has a higher capability of sustaining the attacks. Still, the attacks persisted on a daily basis and we tried deflecting them as far as we could. The DDoS traffic we suffered ranged from 227Mbps to 835Mbps, a mammoth scale for anyone familiar with maintaining Internet sites. The attacker does not appear interested in defacing the website, typical of self-styled college hackers. He/she just deleted articles published on Malaysia Today, literally one by one, with the single-minded aim of erasing all the explosive stuff on the site.

Further complicating the trace of attacks is the use of free proxy servers, on random basis, by the attackers. This is an irony, as we have been advising our users to use such proxy servers to overcome any potential content filtering by the government.

All the malicious activities and behaviours bear the hallmark of professional, for-hire hackers. These are certainly no amateurs, judging from the persistence and frequency of the attacks, with the main objective of making the content of Malaysia Today inaccessible to the public.

We believe that there is NO explicit blocking of the site by the various Malaysian ISPs. The inconsistent and intermittent accessibility of the site in the past many days are the result of the situation described above, although we must caution that it is almost impossible to detect any clandestine censorship.

The MCMC has in the past failed to silence Malaysia Today officially through blocking it in August 2008. Now, with even more revelations of various scandals of the government exposed through this site, we can’t help but suspect that there is a more significant force, a hidden hand at play aimed at bringing down Malaysia Today.

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HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, RPK (27th September 2009)

rpk

Behind that innocent little smile lies a brilliantly sinister mind!

Btw folks, if you have noticed that his recent postings were simply ‘explosive’ in nature, did you also not wonder whether those images contained a little more than what’s obvious?

Try S-T-E-G-A-N-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y

Maaaan, I can already visualise the-powers-that-be slapping their noggins on this.