Information Warfare: Cyber War Mercenaries

Archives

September25, 2008:  In Myanmar (Burma), the military dictatorship has used Cyber War techniques to shut down the three 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. The Myanmar government launched these DDOS attacks now because of major demonstrations that occurred in Myanmar this time last hear.

The generals shut down those demonstrations, which were led by Buddhist monks mobilizing popular unrest over an increase in the price of fuel. The unrest was suppressed with arrests, raids on monasteries and shutting down cell phone and Internet service. Several hundred demonstrators have been killed. Similar disturbances in 1998 resulted in violence that left over 3,000 dead (mostly demonstrators). The military are not just killing people, but very effectively shutting down any organization the demonstrators have. The army and police have planned for this sort of thing better than the demonstrators.

Myanmar has been ruled by a military dictatorship for the last 45 years. The generals have run the economy into the ground, and succeeded in suppressing all attempts at establishing a representative government. They have also managed to maintain the support of a fairly large army. How have they managed to pull this off for so long? Simple, the generals have concentrated on maintaining the loyalty of the officers and senior NCOs in the armed forces. This is done by making the military a well paid, by Burmese standards, profession, and select carefully from among those who apply to be career soldiers.

 About one percent of Burma's 50 million people are in the armed forces (including paramilitary intelligence and security secret police type organizations.) The secret police keep an eye on the troops, and the troops keep an eye (and often gun pointed at) the people. Myanmar only spends about a billion dollars a year on the armed forces, most of that going to pay and living expenses of infantry troops. But there's enough left over to hire Cyber War mercenaries.

 

 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close