25 Jun 2008

Marshall Islands e-mail service disrupted by cyber attack

1:37 pm on 25 June 2008

An unprecedented cyber attack on the Marshall Islands monopoly Internet provider has caused a complete shutdown of email traffic to the country.

More than 18 hours after the initial attack late on Monday, the incoming email service had still not been restored.

The government-owned National Telecommunications Authority, or NTA, was hit with a sudden four-fold increase in incoming email early on Tuesday.

While NTA customers could send and receive emails through the local system, virtually no non-NTA emails were received, affecting local businesses, banks and government offices.

A Telecom Authority spokesman said the flood of email was consistent with what Internet technicians call a Distributed Denial of Service attack.

A local information technology expert said some malevolent person unleashed infected computers to flood the NTA with mail leading to the shutdown of the system.