Just two weeks, GitHub and GreatFire.org have been sunk for at least 2 days ago by a Chinese cyber attack. It was then when the world acknowledged for the first time the power of one of the fiercest cyber weapons owned by China, that has been later called `the Great Canon`.
The cyber weapon has rapidly become well known all around the world in the technology and software experts` communities, but the mane Great Cannon has been given to this type of attack only a short while ago, when analysts conducted a deeper investigation of the cyber weapon.
The study has been accomplished by two academic departments affiliated to two separate universities. The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and University of California, Berkeley`s International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) have both been involved in the leading of the observations that were made upon the matter of the Great Cannon. The scientists` investigation highlighted the reasons why the attack has been launched, how it developed and what exactly the Great Cannon is.
The experts reckon that the Great Cannon attack was a very firm statement about the capacities of the Chinese cyber warfare. And indeed it was a tremendous cyber attack, also taking into account that GitHub described the Great Cannon as the most terrible distributed denial of service (DDoS) that the website has ever faced.
The authors of the study have also explained that the real target of the Chinese Great Cannon was to launch an offensive against GreatFire.org and also against the Chinese version of the New York Times. GitHub was flooded with traffic by the hackers because it was responsible for the web hosting service of the both targets.
Nicholas Weaver, one of the researchers involved in the study, affiliated to the University of California, Berkeley, said that China`s intention to go public is at least intriguing, and that it looks clear that they really wanted to make their power acknowledged.
“If you have to worry about a nation state adversary and if they can see an unencrypted web request that they can tie to your identity, they can use that as a vehicle for attack. This has always been the case, but it’s now practice,” Weaver said in a statement.
The researchers have also emphasized the fact that every request sent into China should be encrypted, concluding that this is a lesson to be learned from the Chinese Great Cannon.
Image Source: Bloomberg