In the African nation of Mauritania, the military dictatorship has used
Cyber War techniques to shut down two opposition web sites that provide the
most information on what is going on inside the country. The generals
apparently hired several botnets (networks of illegally controlled PCs, yours
might be one of them and you wouldn't know it) to smother the anti-dictatorship
websites with phony visitors (a "DDOS attack"). The botnets (tens, or
hundreds of thousands of hijacked PCs) are run by criminals who rent them out
for sending spam, DDOS attacks or several other types of Internet based scams.
generals ousted the elected government three months ago, and has not been happy
about what sites like the Sahara Media news agency and the opposition al-Anba'
al-Ikhbari have been publishing.
year, the military dictatorship in Myanmar used a similar tactic to shut down
offshore opposition websites. China and Russia have used similar tactics. Since
it is difficult, and often impossible, to trace these attacks back to a
government entity, such censorship can be carried out as long as you can pay a
mercenary Internet criminal gang to do the deed.