Cyber-attack brings down Malaysiakini ahead of crucial S'wak polls

Popular independent news portal went off-line today in the run-up to crucial state elections in Sarawak on Saturday, attributing the outage to a sophisticated cyber-attack culminating in a Denial of Service (DOS) message for thousands of users.

A statement posted this evening on its Facebook page said the attack begun at 11am and shut down within hours the website's main servers hosted at two separate data centres in Kuala Lumpur. 

"The Malaysiakini technical team has determined it to be a denial-of-service attack, where an attacker uses computers in different parts of the world to swarm Malaysiakini servers to the point that they are unable to cope with the massive traffic," said the statement.

Malaysiakini falls victim to major cyber-attack (AFP File Photo).Malaysiakini falls victim to major cyber-attack (AFP File Photo).It added that the editorial team had posted all of today's reports on its Facebook page and all articles, including those on the upcoming Sarawak election, 'would soon be available on Wordpress, Blogspot and other publishing platforms'.

'Too much of a coincidence'

Confirming details of the attack, Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan told Yahoo! Malaysia the portal's tech team was working feverishly to bring the site back up but was unwilling to say when this could be accomplished.

"We are also working to bring up a new set of servers and we will keep our readers informed of developments via Facebook and Twitter," he said.

Asked to comment on similar cyber-attacks which began earlier this week against anti-Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud website 'Sarawak Report', Gan said the events were 'too much of a coincidence'.

"We would not want to jump to any conclusions but it is just too much of a coincidence that these attacks come just three days before polling in Sarawak.

"We'll let our readers draw their own conclusions," he said.

Taib sues

Since its launch in 1999, Malaysiakini has been considered to the leading non-government owned news media in Malaysia attracting over 15,000 unique visitors daily in 2010 making it the number one online news portal in the country.

Sarawak Report ‘on the run’ after cyber-attacks.Sarawak Report ‘on the run’ after cyber-attacks.

The feisty website has been sued by Taib following revelations in foreign news reports that the latter allegedly received millions in kickbacks from timber deals.

The two-year-old 'Sarawak Report' meanwhile, is run by the sister-in-law of former British prime minister Gordon Brown - Clare Rewcastle Brown - and has exposed Taib's personal property empire stretching from Australia to Europe and North America.

The website has alleged that the chief minister - Malaysia's longest-serving - had amassed his wealth illegally through corruption and the systematic exploitation of Sarawak's abundant natural resources.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …