Internet access in Syria disappeared overnight in the second incident affecting the nation's web access in the last six months, with speculation suggesting the government may have cut off access as part its ongoing battle with rebel forces.
A number of web monitoring firms including the RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) and Akamai reported seeing traffic in and out of the nation drop off overnight, as the graph below from the RIPE NCC shows. Data from Google also showed that access to its services had all but disappeared from the nation.
At present, no clear cause for the outage has been identified. However, Dan Hubbard, the CTO of security firm Umbrella Security Labs, noted that there could well be a number of causes, including political.
“It seems Syria has largely disappeared from the internet. Effectively, the shutdown disconnects Syria from internet communication with the rest of the world,” he wrote in a blog post.
“It’s unclear whether internet communication within Syria is still available. Although we can’t yet comment on what caused this outage, past incidents were linked to both government-ordered shutdowns and damage to the infrastructure, which included fibre cuts and power outages.”
Disruptions to the nation's internet connections have hit the headlines already this year after three divers were caught attempting to sabotage the main undersea cable into Egypt. They succeeded in slowing connections to the country for several days before they were caught.
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