News / Science & Technology

China Hit by 'Largest Ever' Hack Attack

A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China, December 28, 2012.A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China, December 28, 2012.
x
A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China, December 28, 2012.
A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China, December 28, 2012.

Related Articles

China's Ex-leader: Nothing to Fear from Disputes with US

In a rare return to public life, Jiang Zemin met with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, saying honest dialogue is needed

UN Warns on Mobile Cybersecurity Bugs to Prevent Attacks

Researchers say at least 500 million phones vulnerable

3 US Media Outlets Hacked by Syrian Gov't Supporters

Certain news links at 'Washington Post,' CNN, 'Time' redirected to website of Syrian Electronic Army, which backs Assad regime
TEXT SIZE - +
Large parts of China’s Internet went dark this past weekend as the country came under what the Beijing government is calling the “largest ever” hack attack on Chinese sites.

According to The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which “operates and administers country code top level domain of .cn and Chinese domain name system,” the denial of service, or DDoS, attacks started at 2:00 a.m. local time Sunday morning. CNNIC said the initial attack was followed two hours later by a larger attack. Both focused on websites with the .cn extension.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Matthew Prince, the chief executive of CloudFlare, a company that provides Web performance and security services for more than a million websites, said China saw a 32 percent drop in Internet traffic for domains in the company’s network during the two-hour attack.

CNNIC apologized to users for the attack and promised to strengthen security in the future. The organization did not elaborate on who might have been behind the attacks.

“It's just another example that China does indeed have its own enemies who attempt to disrupt its Internet operations,” said Jeffry Carr, CEO of Taia Group, a cybersecurity firm. “Such enemies include hackers from Taiwan, India, Tibet, the Middle East and, of course, the United States.”

Carr added that denial-of-service attacks do not require a lot of technical know how.

"Denial-of-service attacks can be as simple as downloading a free tool like Anonymous's LOIC product  or one can visit any number of hacker forums where DDoS services are cheaply available for hire."

Christopher Burgess, CEO of Prevendra, Inc., says the attack could have also have come from within China.

“The prompt response and resolution by China's CNNIC and lack of attribution provided by the CNNIC of attack origin warrants further monitoring. It begs the question, was this a self-inflicted wound by a Chinese entity, such as one of those identified by Mandiant in their report earlier in 2013 or an attack originating by a criminal element,” he said.

While China is known for efficient Internet censorship, some question the country's cyber defenses.

"The attack points out the vulnerability of the entire Chinese web to cyber attack from the outside," said Matthew Aid, an independent intelligence analyst. "If all Internet sites ending in .cn can be taken down by nothing more sophisticated than a conventional denial-of-service attack, the Chinese Internet system is more vulnerable than we previously believed. Clearly Chinese cyber defenses are not what they should be"

Domains with the .cn extension appeared to be working normally on Monday.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid