Thai government websites went offline Wednesday in a suspected distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, and were restored only by Thursday. The attack was in response to the government’s decision to limit access to sites deemed inappropriate, the BBC reported.
Websites like the government’s thaigov.go.th, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry's site mict.go.th and the Defense Ministry's website mod.go.th were brought down using the DDOS attack, according to the Bangkok Post.
The three sites reportedly went offline at 10 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT) Wednesday, and were restored the next morning. DDOS attacks reportedly use bots or programs to over exceed the website’s capability to handle traffic.
The Thai government had decided last month to use a single gateway as a tool to regulate information flow from other countries, and to restrict inappropriate websites, according to the BBC. Thousands of people had protested the decision, dubbing it "The Great Firewall of Thailand." A change.org petition protesting the single gateway crossed 100,000 signatures as of Wednesday, according to the Bangkok Post.
The other websites affected were the state-owned telecommunications website TOT Plc, the firm most likely to host the single gateway -- CAT Telecom, and the Thai military's Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), the Thailand Business News reported.
The warnings were on the wall -- private hacking groups had been publicly announcing their plans to bring down government websites since Wednesday afternoon, according to the Bangkok Post. The Thailand Business News reported that the Thai Netizens Network urged those on the internet to simultaneously enter the ICT website Wednesday to protest the single pathway plan.
Last month, the cabinet under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had given the go ahead to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) to move forward with the single gateway plan before the end of the 2015 budget year, according to the Thailand Business News.
The new single gateway plan added to the citizens' fears that their freedom of speech could be curtailed, the Straits Times reported. Citizens were concerned that the new proposal could affect other avenues of business, such as online businesses that could be hampered by bottlenecks.