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Teh Herd.

17 June 2011

Malaysia Gov Lift-Off Bans, and Why It's Bad : Post-Anonymous Attack

In 3 characters 
Wow. Just WOW. Supposedly the sites that's been blocked by MCMC yesterday has been lifted off the ban hammer, in less than 24 hours.

Some of those sites that were banned by the MCMC
*** The event, in summary ***

The hacking 'group' Anonymous (Anon for short) posted warnings on several sites that they will attack Malaysia Gov Portal (www.malaysia.gov.my) for banning several file sharing sites (read : also WikiLeaks) yesterday at 3.30 AM local time. Forums and blogger around the Net reported that the site was inaccessible even a few hours before that, though I THINK that this was the result of having too many 'curious' Malaysians on trying to see the result of the hack, thus overloading the server even before the attack started. A few other hacking activist also decided to join the bandwagon by defacing several other gov websites (a total of 51) in the spirit of supporting Anon's action.


Well, the attack on the MY Gov site has stopped and the site has been accessible, though in a kind of shitty way;

malaysia.gov.my : post Anon attack
We can praise the Lord that this attack has stopped and just pray that none of the sensitive info has leaked into the wrong hard disk drive. I'm in no doubt that some of you may rejoice that those bans has been lifted quickly and you can resume your downloading needs, but I can't help but feel a lil' bit disturbed on how things turned out as they were.

As I've stated in my previous post, I think that the gov decision on banning these sites as a way to "effectively combat piracy" seems very childish. Tun Dr. Mahathir (a man that I respect very well to this very day) promised that there wouldn't be any kind of censoring on the Internet before, but it doesn't look like the gov is keeping its promise now. If the action of banning those sites was childish, the action of lifting such bans is cowardice. Now now, before you decide to form a mob of pitchforks and torches and burning my house, I would like you to read what I've to say first.

On what grounds does the gov have that justify their action? Lifting those bans only after sites have been attacked by hackers made it looks like the gov is giving in to cyber terrorism and petty threats. There has been protests by citizens to let out their voice on this matter a few days before, and I certainly (emphasize on the 'I') didn't see or have come to know that the gov has given out a statement that they will reconsider their controversial decision. What we get that those sites were blocked by the ISPs around 8.00 AM yesterday. And the result is as you see it, Anon and other hackers retaliated.

Points to take note :

  • The gov is showing a sign of weakness by lifting the bans. It's almost like they're willing to give in to threats by low life scums. Considering certain events that has been happening in this country these past years, I wouldn't say it's too far off. They should have just manned up by sticking to the decision, made or listen to the public 's voice before taking such action again.
  • It shows that even the official gov sites are very hackable indeed. These hackers just need a motivation to support their action and now they have it. They better fix those security loopholes before subsequent attacks emerge. Our national security is very much at stake here.
  • The gov should consider other ways of combating piracy. One good alternative is to consider taking  Apple's way of offering deals in offering low prices of individual songs ($0.99). Maybe the gov can find a middle road on imposing such method instead of just trying to hunt and shut down every source of piracy.
Let's just hope that we all have learned a very valuable (not to mention tough) lessons here, and I certainly do not condone subsequent attempt on attacking my country virtually. It's just that this time it deem to be necessary.

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