Pacific island knocked off internet by DDoS attack

News by Richard Thurston

The Marshall Islands have been subjected to a prolonged bout of unexpected email traffic, preventing citizens receiving emails, but the reason for the attack remains unclear

A Pacific island state has been knocked off the internet by a cyber attack.

The attack on the Marshall Islands, which began on Tuesday and is still plaguing the country, took the form of a denial of service attack on the country's sole ISP.

"This attack was designed to keep our servers constantly locked to zombies, while blocking legitimate email," said Anthony Muller, general manager of the sole ISP, the National Telecommunication Authority, according to local reports. He said the attack was consistent with activity expected during a DDoS attack.

Email traffic hit four times their normal levels, taking out the NTA's mail gateways, according to Marshall Islands' news site

Muller said the attack had been "tamed" yesterday, and that it was "sort of" back to normal. He said extra servers would be added to help prevent the incident reoccurring.

The reason for the attack remains unknown. But it was rather smaller than the one which knocked out large parts of Estonia last year.

The Marshall Islands are named after British naval officer John Marshall who helped take convicts to Botany Bay. The US invaded and occupied the islands during World War II and tested nuclear weapons there afterwards.

The Marshall Islands Government last year called a state of emergency due to an extended drought.

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