China internet outage blamed on 'hijacking'

2014-01-23 12:10
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
San Francisco - A firm specialising in censorship-evading technology on Wednesday blamed a massive breakdown of China's internet on website address "hijacking" tools used by authorities there.

"In 2002, China started to use DNS hijacking technology to block websites," said US-based Dynamic Internet Technology, which runs a tool called FreeGate designed to bypass Chinese internet censors.

"On January 21 2014, there was a large-scale internet breakdown in China caused by this DNS hijacking system."

Internet users were sent to an IP address operated by Dynamic Internet Technology, which runs FreeGate. The website was registered to a shell company at an address in Wyoming, according to DIT.

The IP address - 65.49.2.178 - is linked to dongtaiwang.com, a news portal run by Falun Gong members, Greatfire.org said.

Falun Gong is a Buddhist-inspired religious group that was banned in China in 1999 and branded an "evil cult".

Fiasco

Dynamic Internet Technology lists as clients on its website the Epoch Times - a publication linked to the spiritual movement - along with Human Rights in China and other groups.

Cyber-monitoring group Greatfire.org blamed China censors for the fiasco, and DIT backed that contention in a release posted at its website.

The domain name system, or DNS, is essentially an addressing method that lets computers know where to go to find websites on the internet.

DNS hijacking happens when someone, say, a censor, intercepts transmissions between computers and sends back a wrong address directing an internet user away from banned online destinations.

"This kind of attack requires that the attacker be able to monitor all traffic of targeted users and needs the CPU resources to process all the data," DIT said.

Web users in the country - which tightly restricts internet access - had trouble accessing numerous sites on Tuesday, said Greatfire.org, which tracks the vast Chinese online censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall.

"We have conclusive evidence that this outage was caused by the Great Firewall," it said on its website, calling the incident "one of the largest internet outages ever in China".

The state news agency Xinhua raised the possibility of hacking, and the official China Internet Network Information Centre attributed the breakdown to a "root server for top-level domain names".

But Greatfire.org cast doubt on those claims, citing technical tests and saying such an act was "not enough to cause this outage". China has about a half billion internet users.

China's vast censorship apparatus proactively suppresses any information or websites online deemed sensitive, from popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter to a frequently updated list of search terms.
Read more on:    china  |  cybercrime  |  internet  |  online privacy
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!

Watch as two guys jump off the world's tallest building!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.