Myanmar Denies Being Involved in Hacking Scheme

By Carlos Olivera February 11, 2013

Despite several warnings from Google, Myanmar’s government has continued to deny it had any involvement in the hacking of Gmail accounts over the past week.

The hacking seemed to be an isolated event as only journalists covering Myanmar were affected by the attempts, prompting the questions as to whether the country was continuing old habits of spying on reporters.

"I doubt the authenticity" of the alerts. "There is no policy of the government to attack [a] media website," Ye Htut, a spokesperson for President Thein Sein. He went on to add that the reports of Myanmar’s involvement were “baseless.”

Myanmar has had the propensity under old military regimes to spy on reporters to try and gain some sort of insight. For decades Myanmar journalists were monitored, muzzled and in some cases jailed due to military censorship.

Last year, Google introduced a new feature where alerts are sent out in case it detects a hack, and over a dozen reporters recently received the alert on their Gmail accounts.

"We don't know why they are checking us, or how far they are checking us, or who these state-sponsored groups are," said Zaw Ye Naung, editor-in-chief of Eleven Media, an online publication. "This is not a good situation amidst the reform process."

Ye Naung had six of his own employees receive the alerts, bringing the total to more than a dozen. The hacking attempts weren’t solely to Myanmar based reporters. Some reporters covering Myanmar from other countries including Thailand and Indonesia also received the alerts when they attempted to log into their Gmail accounts.

Although this is the first time a large group of journalists covering Myanmar, there is no definitive way to identify whether the country itself was involved or there it was some faulty malware.

"If Google is drawing the conclusion that state-sponsored groups are involved, it might have something to do with the type of malware, some of which can only come from a government level rather than cybercriminals," said Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices Online and an expert on Internet security.

At this point hackers seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Last week alone Twitter reported 250,000 of its users were hacked with sensitive information being stolen. Not even 88 year-old, hospital ridden ex presidents were safe as George H.W. Bush was the victim of a hacking scheme. The unidentified hacker got a hold of personal e-mails, friends and families addresses and even security codes to the younger George Bush’s home being stolen.




Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Content Producer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Top 5 Most In-Demand, Highest-Paying Tech Jobs in 2017

By: Special Guest    11/30/2016

So while tech may be automating a whole lot of traditionally analog jobs, the tech sector is also responsible for a good deal of the job creation in t…

Read More

Look for PC Price Wars in 2017

By: Doug Mohney    11/29/2016

A steady movement of everything to the cloud and brutal competition to hold onto existing market share is likely to drive mainline manufacturers such …

Read More

Will Self-Driving Cars Ruin New York?

By: Lindsey Patterson    11/28/2016

Self-driving cars have the potential to completely reshape our transportation system, but the big question for New Yorkers is how they will affect the…

Read More

Microsoft Surface Phone= HP Elite X3 + Blackberry DTEK 60 + Panasonic FZ-X1?

By: Rob Enderle    11/28/2016

Next year Microsoft is rumored to release the Surface Phone which, ideally, should learn from all of the current Blackberry, Panasonic and HP business…

Read More

Making Sense of SpaceX, Boeing and Other Mega Satellite Broadband Projects

By: Doug Mohney    11/22/2016

SpaceX's plan to put a whopping 4,425 satellites into low earth orbit (LEO) is the boldest plan for adding global non-terrestrial broadband capacity, …

Read More