Myanmar arrests 11 suspects for hacking government sites during protests

Myanmar Hackers Facebook page

Image: ZDNet

The junta government of Myanmar has arrested 11 suspects on Thursday on charges of hacking and defacing government websites.

The suspects were part of a group calling themselves the Myanmar Hackers.

The group, which operated from a Facebook page of the same name, was linked to attacks and defacements on sites for the Myanmar military, state-run broadcaster MRTV, the Central Bank, the Port Authority, the Food and Drug Administration, and local law enforcement.

In total, 17 government websites are believed to have been attacked, according to local media, which reported the arrests.

The cyber intrusions and website defacements were part of nationwide protests against the current government, which illegitimately seized power earlier this month following a military coup.

On February 1, the Myanmar military leadership ordered the arrest of members of the National League for Democracy party, along with its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which convincingly won the November 2020 elections after soundly defeating the military’s representatives.

Mass public protests have been taking place since the coup, in a country that just years before escaped from the rule of another failed junta regime.

Since the coup, the government has attempted several times to shut down internet access for the entire country, has blocked access to social networks to prevent citizens from organizing new protests, and is currently trying to pass a new draconian security law that would allow it to easier and unfettered access to any user’s personal data and browsing history.

Following the arrests, the Myanmar Hackers group said they’d stop their activities, although it’s unsure if this will save other members from arrests.

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