China pursues cyberpolitics by other means again with Github attack

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

China Suspected of Cyber-Attacks on Anti-Censorship Website, NY Times, Say Reports.

Late last Wednesday, a San Francisco-based website used by software developers began being overwhelmed with requests in a classic type of attack that appears to be the work of Chinese hackers, according to a report. US coding site GitHub said it was deflecting most of the traffic from a days-long cyber-attack that had caused intermittent outages on the social coding site, with the Wall Street Journal citing China as the source of the attack. “Eighty-seven hours in, our mitigation is deflecting most attack traffic.The site is the host for Greatfire.org, an organization which monitors Chinese online censorship activity and offers Chinese users some ways around online restrictions, and CN-NYTimes, the Chinese-language version of the New York Times.

(Bloomberg) — GitHub Inc., a U.S. website designed for computer programmers, has been under attack since Thursday in what may be an attempt by China to disrupt efforts to circumvent that country’s censorship policies. From Thursday (March 26), GitHub underwent a ‘distributed denial of service’ attack in which huge numbers of page requests overwhelm a site’s servers, causing all or part of a site to become unavailable. The paper said Internet traffic intended for Chinese search engine Baidu BIDU 0.92% was instead redirected to Github pages linking to content banned in the country. The attack took the form of a flood of traffic, known as a distributed denial of service – or DDoS – attack, which are among the most common on the internet. The attack is seen as part of an escalation by Chinese authorities, who already have tens of thousands of staff operating interventionist tools within China, to extend their control of the Internet to domains overseas.

New York time on Sunday. “We’re aware of intermittent issues and continue to adapt our response.” About three hours later GitHub said its evolving tactics were improving performance. Communicating by Twitter and its own security pages, GitHub says that it has deployed defences against the DDOS assault, but that the attack has since evolved into one targeting other pages and assets.

He said he doesn’t have any insight on who is behind it and that tracking down a culprit often is less important than a strong defense against the attacks. Two weeks ago Greatfire.org complained of a similar attack after it was featured in a WSJ story about Internet users using foreign cloud services, including those run by Amazon.com AMZN 0.87% and Microsoft Corp. In January, Greatfire reported on a Chinese attack on Microsoft Outlook that it said involved the issuing of fake site security certificates by the China Internet Network Information Center. Earlier this year, hackers gained access to Social Security numbers and other information of 80 million customers of health insurer Anthem in what U.S. investigators later said was likely a Chinese state-sponsored operation. Military watchers said recently that a document from China’s People’s Liberation Army acknowledges for the first time the existence of hacking groups within the PLA–something that has been routinely claimed by the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies for over a year.

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