China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet

Late last month, China began flooding American websites with a barrage of Internet traffic in an apparent effort to take out services that allow China’s Internet users to view websites otherwise blocked in the country.Initial security reports suggested that China had crippled the services by exploiting its own Internet filter — known as the Great Firewall — to redirect overwhelming amounts of traffic to its targets. Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto say China did not use the Great Firewall after all, but rather a powerful new weapon that they are calling the Great Cannon. see:Github Attack Perpetrated by China’s Great Cannon Traffic Injection Tool
Chinese attackers used the Great Firewall’s offensive sister-system, named the Great Cannon, to launch a recent series of distributed denial of service attacks targeting the anti-censorship site,, and the code repository, Github, which was hosting content from the former.The first set of DDoS attacks hit on March 16. On March 26, Github became an unwitting victim in the attack, as another DDoS knocked it offline. It is widely believed that the attackers launched these attacks in an attempt to shut down services aimed at circumventing China’s massive content blocking infrastructure, known as the Great Firewall. The University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab, along with help from the International Computer Science Institute, the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton University, began quietly monitoring the attacks on March 18 and continued to watch the events unfold until April 8. deploys new weapon for online censorship in form of ‘Great Cannon’
China has moved beyond censoring Internet content seen by its own citizens to using a new cyberweapon researchers have dubbed “the Great Cannon” to silence critics around the world, according to a report released Friday.The first use of this capability was a weeks-long attack against Web sites that offer tools to help users evade Chinese censorship. By sending crippling amounts of Web traffic, the attacks attempted to knock offline the anti-censorship site GreatFire as well as GitHub, a San Francisco-based Web service that is popular with programmers.

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