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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, CNN.com 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 CNN.com 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 eye smite on 4/21/2008 4:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, those are some good progress points in the country and for the people. We're not dealing with the people of China though, we're dealing with it's gov't. I'm sure there's quite a few examples, but the ones of note are Tiananmen Square, and here we are 19 years later seeing the same thing in Tibet. So, how many more decades will it take with this slow progression to turn the gov't around so they aren't killing people for protesting and demonstrating against how they are treated and the suppression they endure????? I don't have an answer for that, and I'm sure no one does. So let me rephrase my statement to focus on the gov't of China. The Chinese gov't going forward will continue to do what they've been doing towards their people for the last 60 years and will be accountable to no one for their actions......that's just the way it is.


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