Chinese web censors manipulate net users to hit anti-censorship pages

Cyber attacks climb notorious heights as experts ride on unsuspecting users of internet

GN Bureau | March 30, 2015


#cyber attack   #China   #Chinese   #GitHub   #Baidu   #internet  

Taking cyber attack to new and scary level, Chinese web experts have been targeting a popular US coding website.

From Thursday onwards, GitHub has been hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that sent large volumes of web traffic to the site, particularly towards two Chinese anti-censorship projects hosted there. Specifically, the traffic was directed to two GitHub pages that linked to copies of websites banned in China, the experts said. One page was run by Greatfire.org, which helps Chinese users circumvent government censorship, while the other linked to a copy of the New York Times’s Chinese language website.

Greatfire.org’s GitHub page contains links to copies of 10 websites blocked in China, including an uncensored version of the popular social-media service Weibo.

Over the next few days, the attackers changed their DDoS tactics as GitHub defended the site, but as of Sunday, it appears the site was mostly working.  A GitHub service called Gists, which lets people post bits of code, was still affected, it said. On Twitter, GitHub said it continued to adapt its defenses.

The attacks appeared to focus specifically on two projects hosted on GitHub, according to a blogger who goes by the nickname of Anthr@X on a Chinese- and English-language computer security forum.

The attack on San Francisco-based GitHub Inc. points to brazenness of China’s Internet censors, who are increasingly reaching outside the country to clamp down on content they find objectionable.

GitHub services are used by programmers and major tech firms world-wide to develop software,

The modus operandi was to direct huge amounts of traffic from overseas users of Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. to GitHub, paralyzing GitHub’s website at times.

The attackers used a wide variety of methods and tactics, including new techniques “that use the web browsers of unsuspecting, uninvolved people to flood github.com with high levels of traffic,” GitHub said.

In late December, China cut off all access to Google’s Gmail service, after blocking Facebook’s Instagram app, and the phone messaging app Line.

Baidu said it wasn’t involved in the attack and its systems weren’t infiltrated. “After careful inspection by Baidu’s security engineers, we have ruled out the possibility of security problems or hacker attacks on our own products,” it said in a statement.

Though Baidu is the largest search engine in China, the attack appeared to use traffic from its users outside the country, security experts said. When a user navigated to the Baidu search engine, they said, a code was activated that sent continuous requests for data from the user’s computer to GitHub. By tapping overseas users, the hackers made the attack harder to block, because the requests to GitHub came from all over the world and looked like typical requests for information.

Comments

 

Other News

Bank loan recovery in recent years has mirrored Hindu rate of growth

At the outset, for those who are not familiar with the nomenclature ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, it refers to the low economic growth in post-independent India till the 1990s, when several economic liberalisation measures were undertaken. Till the 1990s, the growth rate was around 4%, which accelera

“Indian Navy needs more capabilities to build ships”

As India faces increasing threats from China and Pakistan on sea, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, has said that the Indian Navy needs to scale up its capabilities and have more budgets allocated. Speaking to members of t

Mumbai issues strict guidelines for home quarantine of all international passengers

In view of the emerging threat of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Saturday issued strict guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers arriving in the metro and especially those from ‘at risk’ nations. Outlining SO

Omicron: Maharashtra revises travel guidelines

A day after the union health secretary wrote to it that its order on SOPs for air travellers was in divergence with guidelines issued by the MoHFW, GoI in view of the Omicron threat, the Maharashtra government on Thursday revised its guidelines for passengers arriving in the state. Issuing

Omicron: Centre asks Maharashtra to follow uniform guidelines

With the threat of Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, looming large, the union health ministry has written to the Maharashtra government to align orders issued by the state with the ministry’s guidelines for uniform implementation. The state government in its order dated Nove

Central Railways runs over 800 Kisan Railway trips

To ensure bigger access to farm produce and provide new markets with quick transportation and subsidy at 50%, the Kisan Rail has been bringing prosperity, joy, and hope to farmers of Maharashtra. On November 28, the Central Railway ran its 800th  trip of Kisan Rail from Sangola to Muzaffarpur.

Visionary Talks: Dr. Naresh Trehan, CMD Medanta Heart Institute with Kailashnath Adhikari



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter