The volunteer registration web platform for Venezuela’s Coalition for Aid and Freedom has been blocked by state-run internet provider CANTV (AS8048) at 13:40 UTC (9:40 AM VET) Saturday 16 February 2019 as members took to the streets, according to NetBlocks internet observatory measurements. The restriction is ongoing at time of writing.
Confirmed: #Venezuela humanitarian aid volunteer platform #VoluntariosXVenezuela blocked as of 1:40PM UTC (9:40AM VET) Saturday, following earlier apparent state-sponsored hacking attempt; incident ongoinghttps://t.co/uB490XdeFj pic.twitter.com/hQJyADclh7
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 17, 2019
The new restrictions come on Saturday as volunteers have mobilised to the streets in support of National Assembly president Juan Guaidó, in favour of aid for the country’s embattled healthcare and humanitarian sector. The website of the initiative, voluntariosxvenezuela.com, remains online and available via other providers in Venezuela and internationally.
The incident follows an earlier apparent state-sponsored hacking attempt involving the website. On 12 February, security researchers uncovered an extensive state-backed phishing attack hijacking the volunteer website to collect the personal details of new applicants:
La estatal Cantv redireccionó a una falsa web de phishing a las personas que se registraron en la página https://t.co/xqypBd78FE, dejando en evidencia la privacidad de los usuarios https://t.co/dvXzRo4ZmL pic.twitter.com/pZHIK3aJwd
— Espacio Público (@espaciopublico) February 14, 2019
The same day, provider CANTV blocked several international online services including YouTube:
Confirmed: YouTube restricted in #Venezuela from 5:15PM UTC (1:15PM VET) during Juan Guaidó live-streamed speech; Microsoft Bing and Google translation services also affected; incident ongoing #KeepItOnhttps://t.co/FMaBpv9k6r pic.twitter.com/LS8wU7Q2ur
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 12, 2019
Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.
NetBlocks is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.