Print 39 comment(s) - last by slunkius.. on Apr 23 at 12:58 AM

Who would do such a grievous deed?

Most know that the internet teems with the high-tech equivalent of the petty crook; waiting to take advantage of the unwitting.  However, far more alarming than a malicious teenager coding malware, in many ways, is the growing amount of nationalistic attacks on the web.  Many of these attacks come from China, and, according to U.S. and British armed forces and intelligence, are government-sponsored.

The attacks have occurred in the public sector-- on the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and on government contractors-- and now they're occurring in the private sector as well.  Last Thursday, was targeted by takedown attempts after it ran coverage of pro-independence protest events in Tibet.  CNN fought back deploying countermeasures, but this yielded "web attrition" in the form of its services being slow or unreachable to many in Asia.

While CNN states that the scale of problems due to its defensive measures were relatively small, it also acknowledges that the incident was significant.  Said the network, "CNN took preventative measures to filter traffic in response to attempts to disrupt our Web site. A small percentage of users in Asia are impacted.  We do not know who is responsible, nor can we confirm where it came from."

The site came under attack midday Thursday, when it began to experience unexpected problems.  The support staff found that by blocking visitors from certain geographic locations it could mostly silence the attack.  CNN has not released exactly what locations it blocked, but its comments indicate that they were in Asia.  The blocking caused loss of service to some legitimate Asian users, according to the news network.

CNN downplayed the loss-of-service, stating that it was almost "imperceptible" and that "at no time" did the site go down.  By mid-morning Friday, normal operations had resumed.

While CNN has not officially announced who it suspects committed the attacks, the Asian web community was reporting prior to the attacks that in China there were calls for denial-of-service attacks on the site.  The site's coverage of unrest in Tibet and Olympic protests riled many in the Chinese government and many Chinese nationalists.

Chinese bloggers have heavily criticized CNN's coverage of pro-independence movements in Tibet as being "unfair".  CNN says these claims are ridiculous and states, "CNN's reputation is based on reporting global news accurately and impartially, while our coverage through the use of words, images or video always reflects a wide range of opinions and points of view on every story."

For those unfamiliar, a denial of service attack works by an attacker using large groups of computers which they control to send numerous service requests to a website.  Websites can only cope with a certain level of traffic, and at a certain point, the site will become slow and, often, inaccessible.

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RE: Ugh
By Master Kenobi on 4/21/2008 11:00:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'm among those that believe that enough exposure to the rest of the world will eventually put enough pressure on the government (not to mention change those in government, regardless of their desire to hold on to power) that changes will eventually come into effect.

Fat chance of that. The Chinese people are so brainwashed it is unlikely to happen anytime in the near future. The level of information control exercised by the Chinese government is leaps and bounds above what the Soviet Union managed. I think when China's economy goes straight to shit in the next 5 years there might be some impact but that's a long shot still.

(I base my 5 year prediction of China's economy on its current energy usage and natural resources)

RE: Ugh
By masher2 on 4/21/2008 12:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "I base my 5 year prediction of China's economy on its current energy usage"

China is being smart and building dozens of new nuclear power plants. Soon they'll have access to more energy than the US does...and at a far lower environmental cost as well.

RE: Ugh
By HighWing on 4/21/2008 1:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think when China's economy goes straight to shit in the next 5 years there might be some impact but that's a long shot still.

As long as we keep sending them our factories to make our products, what you say will never happen.

RE: Ugh
By Ringold on 4/21/2008 2:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
1. They aren't 'ours', they belong to investors.

2. Populist opinion is always behind the curve; China is already losing some manufacturing jobs to lower-cost areas of Asia, such as Vietnam. Soon, they will be flowing on to Africa.

3. Even stripping out all international trade from China's growth, they would only lose, if I recall, 2% or so of growth. The majority of their growth is endogenous -- in other words, has nothing to do with us.

RE: Ugh
By HighWing on 4/21/2008 6:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think you kinda missed my point.
1. They aren't 'ours', they belong to investors.

I'm not really sure what you mean here, but by saying "ours" I meant anything that is made over in china that is then exported, sold, etc over here in the USA. Where the end product does eventually belong to someone outside of China. IE "ours"

The whole point of my statement is that I don't see how their economy can really fall anytime soon if the USA or any other countries continue to set up factories and pour money into opening up businesses inside of China's borders.

RE: Ugh
By Ringold on 4/21/2008 11:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
I was trying to get at the obvious protectionist sentiment you were trying to exude, but futile is the cause of economic education.

RE: Ugh
By slunkius on 4/23/2008 12:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
Now these are some craziest ideas i have read.
Moving jobs to Vietnam - maybe, to Africa considering stability of that region - it will never happen.
Very interesting theory regarding endogenous growth of china, would be nice to know a source for that. being called world's factory and still not affected by international trade - that is some real achievement

RE: Ugh
By 16nm on 4/21/2008 2:12:04 PM , Rating: 3
The Chinese people are so brainwashed

Only a very foolish Chinese would speak out against its government knowing the consequences. When you hear a Chinese defend his country on the news, know that he has no other choice but to. I think the only Chinese that are brainwashed are those in the government.

RE: Ugh
By Ringold on 4/21/2008 3:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure, but I get the feeling China isn't quite so oppressive as we assume in America.

To quote The Economist from a month or two ago:

"It is no wonder, then, that pollution is the cause of ever more protests and demonstrations. There were some 60,000 in 2006 alone, by the authorities' own count. Some are led not by impotent peasants but by well-organised burghers from Shanghai and Xiamen, a development that must horrify China's rulers."

Either China makes Hitler and Stalin look like Santa Clause, or they look the other way the vast majority of the time.

RE: Ugh
By 16nm on 4/21/2008 4:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure either. And therein lies the problem.

RE: Ugh
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 4/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh
By ajfink on 4/21/2008 8:47:19 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly why I said we should be pushing for more open Internet.

The fact that the Great Firewall of China will be dropped for international hotels during the Olympics is downright shocking to me. Yes, China is opening up unrestricted (so they say) Internet to people in certain hotels planned for the athletes and international press. A few crafty Chinese people leaching from these sites will have their first taste of unfiltered Chinese Internet...ever.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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