Malaysia

Sarawak Report ‘on the run’ after cyber-attacks

A screenshot of a mirror site for the Sarawak Report (http://www1.sarawakreport.org/)A screenshot of a mirror site for the Sarawak Report (http://www1.sarawakreport.org/)KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Anti-Taib website Sarawak Report has been forced to switch its address and will constantly be on the move if week-long Internet attacks continue.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, who operates the site, said that “having sustained three days of unremitting cyber-attacks we are accepting that Sarawak Report will have to go on the run for the next few days until the election.”

“The chances are that we will not last long at any given address, so please do download and pass on our material and viral out our current email addresses,” she said in an email early this morning.

The sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had earlier confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that it had suffered a “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)” attack across the weekend, bringing the site down just days before Sarawak goes to vote on April 16.

In a DDoS attack, multiple requests by bots, or programmes running on servers or personal computers, will bombard a site’s server with requests for data, overwhelming its capability to respond to actual viewers.

Rewcastle Brown had revealed herself as the person behind Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak in February, which since October last year, have mysteriously been putting out reports alleging widespread corruption by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud during his 30-year administration.

In an email to The Malaysian Insider, she accused the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) of coordinating the attacks.

“BN is clearly fearful of what we may cover in the last few days of the campaign — not least because we have been throwing light on their tactics of bribing and bullying the voters in numerous and illegal ways,” she said.

However, she admitted that she had no proof it was BN, although “there was a lot of money and sophisticated equipment thrown at us.”

“They are welcome to deny it. Maybe we have other hugely well-funded enemies out there who are keen to knock us out in the week of the election?” she said.

In her email today, Rewcastle Brown promised to publish “some great stories, which clearly our persecutors would rather we did not get out,” at the new address www1.sarawakreport.org and said that the website would aim to garner even higher readership than before despite the harassment.

It has previously been reported that the site received 18,000 hits a day earlier in the year and has risen during the current election campaign.

BN held 63 of the 71 seats in the assembly before it was recently dissolved but the opposition is expected to make significant gains this Saturday.

 

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