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Chinese hackers poised for anti-CNN attack over the weekend

Fireworks should start early Friday evening on the East Coast

By Carl Jongsma
April 18, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld Australia - Chinese hackers appear to be readying for an attack on the West scheduled for April 19. The basis of the attack appears to be the recent, and very public, pro-Tibet coverage in Western media organizations.

A Chinese site called Anti-CNN is setting out to counteract what it claims are the lies and distortion present in Western news coverage of stories concerning China and Chinese national interests. It is calling for street protests in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom on April 19 (Beijing local time; early evening Friday on the East Coast, or close-of-business on the West).

So far it is nothing more than Anonymous has done in its efforts to protest against Scientology, but nationalistic Chinese hackers have issued a call for a distributed denial of service attack against CNN to coincide with the street protests.

While there is no apparent link between Anti-CNN and the hackers calling for the denial-of-service attack, the team at The Dark Visitor, who have been tracking Chinese hacking activity for some time, believe that it may be members of the Red Hacker Alliance that are pushing for the online attack to accompany the physical demonstrations.

According to Scott Henderson, administrator for The Dark Visitor, members of The Red Alliance have traditionally required very little in terms of direct motivation to launch politically motivated attacks against external sites. The Dark Visitor researchers have associated politically motivated attacks from this group against sites in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

With increasing public argument in the West about how to approach attendance at the Olympic Games being held in Beijing in August, and with continued coverage of social and political unrest in sensitive Chinese territories, more and more Western sites are going to gain the attention of China-based hacking groups like the Red Hacker Alliance.

As the Estonia attacks from 2007 demonstrated, it doesn't take many people to carry out a crippling attack against Internet infrastructure or sites.

There will be a number of interested observers watching on April 19, to see whether The Red Alliance have the capability to back up the claims they are making -- and what sort of effect they are actually going to have against a high-traffic media site.

April 19 update: You know the expression "No one goes to that clue anymore, it's too crowded?" Well, funny thing about the CNN attack...

Reprinted with permission from Computerworld Australia Story copyright 2012 Computerworld New Australia. All rights reserved.
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