Anti-censorship group in China faces DDoS attack

GreatFire.org has been trying to poke holes in China's online censorship

An activist group working to end China's Internet censorship is facing an ongoing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that threatens to cripples its activities.

GreatFire.org, a censorship watchdog based within the country, reported on Thursday that it had been hit with its first ever DDoS attack.

Although it's not known who is behind the attack, China has been suspected of using the tactic before to take down activist websites.

DDoS attacks work by using an army of hacked computers to send an overwhelming amount of traffic to a website, effectively disabling it.

In an Internet posting, GreatFire said that they were seeing 2.6 billion requests per hour, and that its websites had been forced offline.

"We are not equipped to handle a DDoS attack of this magnitude and we need help." the group added.

The DDoS attack is targeting mirror websites GreatFire created to let Chinese users access blocked content, such as Google, BBC, the New York Times and other sites known to offer articles critical of the Chinese government.

To create the mirror websites, GreatFire has been using Amazon.com to host them through its cloud services. If the country wanted to cut access to the sites, the government would have to cause "collateral damage" and risk blocking Amazon servers that also support a large number of businesses, according to the group.

GreatFire suspects that the DDoS is in response to a Wall Street Journal article about the group's use of cloud services to poke holes through China's censorship.

"Because of the number of requests we are receiving, our bandwidth costs have shot up to US$30,000 per day," the group said. "Amazon, which is the service we are using, has not yet confirmed whether they will forgo this."

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

GreatFire, which is run by an anonymous team, has said the bandwidth costs will "put a significant squeeze" on its operations. The group is asking the public to contact Amazon about supporting GreatFire's cause.

As for China, the country has always denied carrying out state-sponsored hacking attacks. But in January, authorities blasted GreatFire for alleging that it had launched a cyberattack against Microsoft's Outlook.com.

"This is unprovoked speculation, and purely amounts to disinformation and slander from anti-China forces based abroad," a government office said at the time.

The office went on to claim that GreatFire had launched unprovoked attacks against the Chinese government, and that it was seeking to incite unrest.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentsecurityregulationGreatFire.org

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?