Update: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has released a statement (available here) regarding the “access restriction purportedly carried out by Internet Service Providers (ISPs)”.
The MCMC’s preliminary investigation revealed no such restrictions by the alleged ISPs, and suggests that the disruptions could instead have been caused by “a heightened increase in the number of visitors…in the past few days”. Other possible causes that the commission does not rule out include network routing and capacity constraint issues, as well as the possibility that the affected sites were experiencing distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.
In addition, the MCMC also revealed that two weeks ago, all local ISPs have been advised to step up their network security levels to avoid any service disruption, and advised members of the public to not jump to conclusions before the commission’s investigation has been completed.
Finally, the commission states that they view such allegations with great concern, and if the ISPs are found to be guilty of the offence, they can be charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for breaching their licence conditions.
It appears that certain local ISPs have are actively filtering certain politically-linked content from being accessed in Malaysia. Based on some tests conducted and discussed in our Networks and Broadband subforum, access to certain YouTube videos and even Facebook pages have been denied – suggesting a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack.
Based on the discussion in the thread, it appears that Malaysian Internet users on certain ISPs are facing the issue. Investigations conducted by the thread starter found that “video payload packets were dropped en route back to (his/her) SOCKS client”, confirming that “all plaintext HTTP connections on Unifi (and maybe Celcom + Maxis) are being man-in-the-middle’d and dropped if they contain blacklisted data”.
In addition, some politically-linked Facebook pages have also been MITM-ed, where HTTP requests containing specific strings are blocked. On the other hand, accessing the Facebook pages while activating secure HTTPS browsing seems to alleviate the issue.
Find out more and join in the discussion on the matter on the thread here.
(Image Credit: Mashable)