Thousands of regular internet users in Kazakhstan have struggled with slow internet connection for weeks. Sometimes the internet is completely out of service. The Kursiv edition asked the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry to clarify what is going on.
According to the government, the only reason for poor internet connection is cyberattacks on the country.
“We’ve been noticing cyberattacks on the Kazakhstani segment of the global net (Kaznet) for many days. These attacks are primarily targeted at public agencies and Kaznet infrastructure. We can’t say for sure who might be behind those attacks against our country because perpetrators use VPN and Proxy-servers, which make it almost impossible to trace the origins of the attacks,” said the ministry.
The State Technical Service believes that those who are orchestrating these attacks live somewhere abroad. As a result of consistent cyberattacks, internet providers in Kazakhstan can’t provide their clients with robust internet connection. Moreover, as the service has tried to improve the security of communications, internet users across the entire country reported communication failures.
$911,000 in fines
According to the national law on communication, internet providers are obliged to guarantee a certain level of quality of service. If users report poor internet connection (a user can send a complaint to the eotinish.kz website), the digital ministry must check the situation and intervene if a provider is doing something wrong.
In order to place more pressure on operators, the digital ministry initiated a set of amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences with bigger penalties for communication service providers. For example, over the first eight months this year, the agency conducted 697 inspections and penalized operators $383,447. After these amendments entered into force in September, the agency conducted 184 inspections and fined communication companies $527,779.
“In 2022, we conducted 881 inspections and issued fines for $911,226 in total,” the digital agency said.
The first reports about slower internet connections in Kazakhstan appeared at the end of September. Even President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev touched on the topic. He said that the reason for cyberattacks from abroad is to affect the political situation in the country.
In early October, the State Technical Service reported 20 million cyberattacks on Kaznet, including DDoS attacks.
On November 7, during a meeting with residents of the Mangystau region, President Tokayev said that the authorities may ban spreading any information that might be considered disinformation. This is necessary to keep stability and security in Kazakhstan despite rising geopolitical tensions and constant cyberattacks inside the country.