When I was in elementary school, we had to choose a country and write a report about it. I decided to find the country with the smallest entry in the encyclopedia* so I could write the shortest possible report. I narrowed it down to East Timor, Bhutan and Burma. I chose Bhutan over Burma because the Burma entry was way too long but I’ve always kept up with any news about those three countries.
Burma, now called Myanmar, was in the news recently, after Arbor Networks detailed a large scale DDoS attack last week against Burma’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, the main ISP for the country and one of the largest in Asia. There are a lot of possible motivations for the attack – Myanmar has elections this week, but Myanmar has also always had a very China-like policy of restricted Internet access to block access to sites and services the government did not approve of.
The scale of the attacks was large, and MPT’s response was slow compared to other major ISPs, but even so the attack was mitigated within a day or so. However, a few lessons to be learned:
- Every Internet connection that is business critical should have DDoS protection available.
- If you are considering using cloud-based services, does the cloud provider use ISPs with sufficient DDoS mitigation to survive targeted DDoS attacks, or do their SLAs provide loopholes that don’t count downtime due to events “outside their control?”
By definition, the reliability and availability of cloud services can never be higher than the reliability and availability of your Internet connection, your cloud provider’s Internet connection and the Internet path in between the two. Getting Error 404 when you are checking the score of the latest sports event is one thing, your critical business apps getting Error 404 for a day or so is a very different impact.
* – for you Gen Yers, an encyclopedia is a big set of books* that were like a printed Wikipedia, with much more reliable information.
* – books are like printed Kindles that don’t break when you drop them and you can buy or borrow from a library*
* – you probably know “library” as the “media center” – oh, forget it – just go look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library
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