Syria, 60 Other Nations Most Vulnerable to Internet Shutdown: Renesys

By Ed Silverstein December 04, 2012

Some 61 nations were recently named as the most vulnerable to national shutdowns of the Internet.

Some, like Syria, have actually shut down the Internet. The war-torn, Middle Eastern nation’s online presence was suspended for 52 hours last week.

Syria claims the Internet was shut down last week because of a terrorist attack – a claim rejected by several sector analysts.

Renesys developed the list by considering who has control of connections between networks found in the nation and those found globally – and some person or group could shut the Internet down rather quickly.

One or two Internet service providers (ISP) maintain external connections in the case of the nations on the list.

Renesys said those at “severe risk” are: Andorra, Anguilla, Netherland Antilles, Aruba, Åland Islands, Barbados, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bhutan, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Cook Islands, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Grenada, French Guiana, Greenland, Gambia, Guinea, Guadeloupe, Guyana, British Indian Ocean Territory, Jersey, Comoros, Saint Kitts And Nevis, North Korea, Lesotho, Libya, Monaco, Saint Martin (French and Dutch parts), Marshall Islands, Mali, Myanmar, Mauritania, Norfolk Island, Nauru, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Palau, Réunion, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Syria, Swaziland, Turks and Caicos, Chad, Tokelau, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Tonga, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Wallis and Futuna, and Yemen.

In addition to the nations at severe risk, some 72 countries have three to 10 service providers connected to the larger world, which leads them to be at “significant risk” of a shutdown, Forbes explained based on the Renesys study.

Egypt is an example.

It is also noteworthy that if there are just a few ISPs that connect to the outside world in a given country, a cyber attacker would find it easier to damage that nation’s Internet service. In Syria, a state-controlled service provider, the Syrian Telecom Establishment controls access to the foreign Internet. 

On the other hand, some nations, such as those in the Islamic world and China, are among those governments that currently voluntary restrict Internet offerings, TechZone360 reported.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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