By Patrick Lee, Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: Whistleblower websites, activist blogs and some onlinenewspapers are crashing as the clock ticks down to the Sarawak state election.
Barisan Nasional cybertroopers may be at work, said National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Hata Wahari. And the Centre for Independent Journalism is equally suspicious.
These cyber attacks have been going on since last week, Hata said today. Weve seen sites like TV Selangor and others being affected
I think there is a cyber war going on because people are looking for information on Sarawak.
Sarawak Report, a popular site dedicated to exposing the alleged corruption of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, and similarly critical sites such as Radio Free Sarawak, Dayak Baru and Anil Nettos blog have all been apparently attacked.
Most were still down as this report was uploaded.
Hata alleged that the attacks were part of a government strategy to force Malaysians to depend on the BN-aligned media for news.
When people cant access theses sites, and they need information, they will have to rely on the mainstream media, he said.
I was informed that all the newspapers in Sarawak are running supplements of the good things done by the government there.
He worried that the voting pattern would be affected.
Timing is suspiciou
CIJ executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah said the timing of the attacks made them suspicious.
They create suspicion in the people who rely on the Internet for alternative news, she said.
She expects more of such sites to crash in the next few days.
I think if you present alternative viewpoints, the likelihood of being attacked is quite high, she said.
Sarawak Report owner Clare Rewcastle Brown yesterday told FMT that the site was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, such as happened to international whistleblower WikiLeaks.
Masjaliza urged alternative news sites and blogs to beef up their online security measures.
Is mc.net victimised also?