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CNN Website Targeted by DoS 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the different-kind-of-d-o-s dept.
antifoidulus writes "CNN is reporting that they were the target of a Denial of Service attack yesterday. According to the article, there have been reports on Asian tech sites that Chinese hackers were targeting CNN for their coverage of the unrest in Tibet. One has to wonder if this hacking attempt was government sponsored or not. The Chinese government hasn't been very happy with CNN -- in fact, the Beijing Bureau Chief has been summoned about a day before this happened."
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CNN Website Targeted by DoS

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  • by jchawk (127686) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:50AM (#23126938) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot is working with the Chinese government to further the DOS attack on CNN by leveraging it's large and generally under-sexed user base!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Arancaytar (966377)
      Heh. But really, the major online news sites are too big to be brought down by normal visitors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by niceone (992278) *
      I guess normally cnn could handle a slashdotting, but why add to their woes today? Anyway I couldn't read TFA, the sever was dead. Maybe it's best if other people don't try!
      • But if nobody tries to view CNN, the evil commies will still be getting their way! I'm trying to get on it from all my computers, refreshing every 0.0001 seconds just in case.

        Really though, if the chinese guv'ment is behind this, I think they're pretty childish. And it's not like they can just keep it up forever.. sooner or later they're going to want to check their email rather than just hitting refresh.
      • Re:In Other News (Score:4, Informative)

        by somersault (912633) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:22AM (#23127072) Homepage Journal
        Seemed fine when I tried. TFA says that only areas in Asia were having issues, and that everything was sorted by Friday morning. You're seriously trying to say that you couldn't access the CNN server at all? Sure.
      • they,CNN, already have Chinese IP addresses blocked, the Chinese have their own people "Great Firewalled of China" so the effects on the fleshies in China is pretty minimal, CNN is a high-load site on a normal day and frequently a target of DDOS attacks so their Admin are well practiced; so it down to a battle of the bot's.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:00AM (#23126970)
    If it wasn't government sponsored, then it was promulgated by some individual or group with substantial resources (a hitherto-unknown botnet, perhaps.) They need to be found out and put away for a few years. On the other hand, if it was sponsored by the Chinese leadership it means they're attempting to extend their brand of censorship worldwide. In which case, they also need to be put away for a few years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MollyB (162595) *

      [...] They need to be found out and put away for a few years. On the other hand, if it was sponsored by the Chinese leadership it means they're attempting to extend their brand of censorship worldwide. In which case, they also need to be put away for a few years.

      Sir, I refer you to the concept Belling the Cat [wikipedia.org]. If one found merit in your suggestion, how would you propose to carry it out?
      (takes a giant step backwards)

      • by multisync (218450)

        Sir, I refer you to the concept Belling the Cat. If one found merit in your suggestion, how would you propose to carry it out?
        (takes a giant step backwards)

        Madam, I draw your attention to the second section of that Wikipedia article you linked to, which reads

        Some scholars have suggested an alternative message to the fable beyond the standard message that "it is easy to propose impossible remedies." They hypothesize that Aesop is not discouraging utopian thought, but rather that he is suggesting that an indi

        • by MollyB (162595) *
          Give me a break. I was originally intending to link to the section you C/P'ed, but decided the whole article was relevant and short enough to get the idea across. Just because you follow links and quote back stuff isn't very original. In fact, it is a bit hinky, whatever that means. I simply asked ScrewMaster if he wanted to "make a sacrifice for his ideals." I'm all for anyone making any sacrifice they dream up, but I take issue with those who call for others to do the dirty work.
          Thank you for seeing my po
          • by multisync (218450)

            I simply asked ScrewMaster if he wanted to "make a sacrifice for his ideals."

            No, you asked him:

            "If one found merit in your suggestion, how would you propose to carry it out?"

            Then cited a fable about belling a cat. I speak for no one but myself, and frequently misinterpret what others say, but I took your sentence and the link to the wiki article as chiding the OP that "IT IS EASY TO PROPOSE IMPOSSIBLE REMEDIES."[2]

            If you had intended to ask Mr. ScrewMaster whether he was willing to back up his beliefs with

            • by MollyB (162595) *

              If you had intended to ask Mr. ScrewMaster whether he was willing to back up his beliefs with actions, it may have been clearer to the rest of us if you had been more specific.
              I think it was clear to everyone but you. But you may have the last word. Whatever...
    • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:48AM (#23127212) Homepage

      On the other hand, if it was sponsored by the Chinese leadership (..)

      Yes, that would be interesting to know. But one of the more insightful views I've heard recently in the China vs. Tibet matter, is that "after so many years of communist rule, it is hard for Chinese people to make a distinction between government, communist party, policy and country". As a result, criticism of Chinese actions concerning Tibet may be felt not as attacks on policy, but attacks on the Chinese people and country. Don't know if that is true, but I'd welcome readers from China to comment on that.

      There is a big difference between saying "you are bad" and saying "you are doing something bad". I guess the real gain is that more people (including the Chinese) are talking about Tibet now, and maybe someday the Chinese *people* will realize that Tibetans just want the same thing as the Chinese: run their own affairs, be left alone, and live in peace with their neighbors.

      In general I feel that whenever 'weapons' (DoS attacks, censorship, physical force) are used to end a discussion, it means that party has run out of reasonable arguments (and in a way, admits moral defeat).

      • by Don_dumb (927108) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:16AM (#23127368)

        Yes, that would be interesting to know. But one of the more insightful views I've heard recently in the China vs. Tibet matter, is that "after so many years of communist rule, it is hard for Chinese people to make a distinction between government, communist party, policy and country". As a result, criticism of Chinese actions concerning Tibet may be felt not as attacks on policy, but attacks on the Chinese people and country. Don't know if that is true, but I'd welcome readers from China to comment on that.

        There is a big difference between saying "you are bad" and saying "you are doing something bad". I guess the real gain is that more people (including the Chinese) are talking about Tibet now, and maybe someday the Chinese *people* will realize that Tibetans just want the same thing as the Chinese: run their own affairs, be left alone, and live in peace with their neighbors.

        This is clearly one of the real problems with the West criticizing China but it isn't unique to China. Many Americans reacted in a similar manner when the rest of the world criticized the Iraq war (freedom fries anyone) , people took it to be an attack on themselves as well as their government. Someone yesterday pointed out the similarity to the US civil war where the Southerners took criticism of slavery with a personal attack on themselves and their heritage. Just like faith versus fact, it is impossible to have a sane and worthwhile argument.
        • by Count Fenring (669457) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @12:17PM (#23128002) Homepage Journal

          Although, as far as I recall, there wasn't an American DDOS attack on British news sources based on the Iraq thing, government sponsored or not.

          And as far as the Chinese... as long as you are going to be horrible to entire nations like that, people are going to say bad things about you. Why, look at us! Quit whining about it, either stop or accept that the world can recognize your evil actions for what they are.

          I would prefer them to stop, by the way. And I wish we'd (USA) stop treating them like they're our best chums while they're violating human rights on international scales.

          • And I wish we'd (USA) stop treating them like they're our best chums while they're violating human rights on international scales.

            I do too, but the reality is they have us by the short and curly. We're so dependent upon China that we can't even clothe ourselves without imports. Do you realize that? Our textile industry is in a shambles, enormous manufacturing facilities are lying fallow, all the machine tools sold to China for pennies on the dollar. That applies to our entire industrial base, by the way:
            • Odds are that what China is doing to Tibet, they'll eventually being doing to us.
              China is NOT going to invade/occupy America and is NOT going to make America a province.
          • Why, look at us!
            Two words: Freedom Fries...

            Before you say "but changing a term isn't as bad as a DDOS!", remember that organizing a DDOS only takes a few dedicated (cr|h)ackers and a big botnet. It doesn't mean that the entire Chinese nation is behind this effort.

            These days most Chinese people are probably on the "freedom fries" level of hostility. Childish, stupid, lame... but don't think that USA is really a lot better.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:13PM (#23128652)

          You're right that it's not unique to China, but it sure seems stronger there, doesn't it?

          I've met tons of Americans who criticize their own government.

          I've met Taiwanese people who bash the hell out of their government, calling it a corrupt charade.

          I've met French people who -- though generally positive about their country -- have intelligent criticisms of their leaders.

          I've met Singaporeans who, while recognizing the state's economic successes, bemoan the state of their country's government-controlled press, who resent the heavy-handed restriction of free speech and honest reporting.

          All the Cubans I've ever met wished for Fidel Castro's death -- and are sorely disappointed that power has been handed over to Raul.

          I've met tons of Chinese people -- many more Chinese than Taiwanese, or French, or Singaporean, or Cuban. So why the hell have I yet to meet a Chinese person critical of their own government?

          In fact, it's worse than that. Even the many Chinese-Americans I've known -- people who either were born in the US or moved here as small children, people who you would think would not have been bombarded by the Chinese state media -- tend to be Chinese nationalists, supportive of whatever the country does.

          I just don't get it.

          There's this incredible conflation going on of the Han race, the Chinese ethnicity, and the government of the People's Republic of China. It's in the CCP's interest to confuse these separate concepts as much as possible, as it buys them the loyalty of not just their own subjects but also of Chinese people around the world -- who, if they paused and thought for a second, would realize they they have little more in common with the CCP's ruling elite than a few genetic markers.

          More, it severely hampers debate, because the minute an American or European caucasian speaks critically of the CCP on the Tibet issue, *BAM*, a bunch of brainwashed Chinese people (please, don't get hung up on this: most people of any ethnicity are idiots) come out swinging with a bunch of prepackaged straw-man talking points (kind of like American conservatives):

          1 - "You're just racist." Way to use an ad-hominem argument there. Even if I am, that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

          2 - "Well, YOU are in Iraq." For starters, I am not in Iraq, you unable-to-separate-a-person-from-his-government moron; the idiot president of my country made that call, not me. And besides, it's irrelevant; your argument hardly justifies Chinese control of Tibet; it sounds an awful lot like, "Oh yeah? Well YOU beat your wife too!"

          3 - "You European imperialists can't criticize us!" See #1 above. Just because the Dutch raped South Africa doesn't mean it's China's turn to fuck over other countries too.

          4 - "We have historical claims to Tibet." For starters, who the heck is "we?" What do you get, personally, from Chinese control of Tibet? Why are you identifying with the CCP? And more, why do ancient territorial claims matter? Gaul was once part of the Roman empire; does that give modern Italy a claim to France? The stated present-day desire of Tibetans to rule themselves is the most relevant claim.

          The problem is that you can't just ignore this trend by Chinese people of conflating "Chinese-ness" with supporting the CCP. Until this social trend is reversed, the sad truth is that Westerners will not be paranoid for finding the loyalty of Chinese people suspect.

          I know this post will get modded down to hell, as it's incredibly un-PC, probably comes across as a little racist, and if you inspect it a little more deeply is also just plain bitter. But it's not a parroted stereotype -- just the disappointed real-life observation of someone who expected more out of people.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            So Western hypocrisy is OK. Got it. We never criticize anyone for the shit it does unless in retaliation. We stopped that practice in the 1980's. If you leave us alone and STFU, we will leave you alone and STFU, and both of us can profit from trade. Apparently the West can't understand that simple fact, and want to take over our country as well as making our money. No dice, China is too strong for your imperialist ploys.
          • So why the hell have I yet to meet a Chinese person critical of their own government?

            I think the problem is, firstly, that most of the Chinese that actually gets out of the country are mostly the privileged ones. When China adopted a more capitalist policy, it created a bunch of really rich people (yes), and a whole lot of relatively poor people. Usually the richer guys don't have as much to complain about.

            The second factor might be that the situation in China is actually improving in a really fast pace. Most visible economically, but the whole country is modernizing fast in many aspects.

      • by IkeTo (27776) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:06AM (#23127606)
        > In general I feel that whenever 'weapons' (DoS
        > attacks, censorship, physical force) are used to
        > end a discussion, it means that party has run
        > out of reasonable arguments (and in a way,
        > admits moral defeat).

        If you ever have access to the discussion of those Chinese youths, you will understand the problem better. There are no longer two "parties" trying to make an "argument". They see the biased report as an intentional attacks to their country. As a person born and lived in HK for a long time, I can understand that news in Western standards normally tries to please their audience, so they are eager to report and exaggerate anything negative about China while tend to neglect or downplay positive things since they don't sell papers. Not for them. What they feel is that their voice goes nowhere except among the Chinese. Even if a large group of Chinese go to demonstrate in London and Paris, they get minimal media coverage. A small group of pro-Tibet people will get a huge noise, in contrast.

        They are not just worried, but are angry, literally. If you see it, you will not be surprised by such attacks at all. It is just a matter of when. No, I don't think government intervention is required. Indeed I believe the Beijing government very much want this not to happen at all, given the upcoming Olympiads, but they probably have no way to prevent this.

        It is sad that this whole thing fueled a whole generation of Chinese youth who continue to think that their country is being belittled, and think that it all comes because they are not powerful enough. Your dream just goes the reverse direction, unfortunately. But instead of being "against the Tibetans", they are "against the Western world". They more and more are thinking in the lines of "over-power the West", rather than to live in harmony with them. The main result of the current episode is a strong mutual distrust. Europeans mistrust news reported by PRC (never mind they can now report criticism as long as it is not persuading any movement threatening their rule over China), and Chinese in general mistrust any European or American reporting.
        • It's really quite interesting. The CCP has fostered a strong sense of nationalism to further its own interests (integrity of territory, approval of draconian policies, etc). The problem is that they have now raised a generation of youths whose rhetoric more closely resembles what you can find on sites like stormfront than civilized discussion. I don't know how that's gonna pan out.
          • Did you even read the GP's comment? He was saying, that the sense of "nationalism" is not merely due to CCP's influence, but the bias of western media itself.

            And by preferring stories that portray a negative image of the Chinese government, you are probably a part of the cause too.

            • by Alsee (515537)
              Perhaps part of the problem is that due to the CCP's restrictive control of domestic media, that the population doesn't accurately understand western media.

              And by preferring stories that portray a negative image of the Chinese government, you are probably a part of the cause too.

              Anyone in a country with freedom of the press understands that news almost never covers ANYTHING about ANYONE, except negative news. If there's nothing wrong, then it's not news. Nobody wants to read a news report "nothing interesti
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015)
        In general I feel that whenever 'weapons' (DoS attacks, censorship, physical force) are used to end a discussion, it means that party has run out of reasonable arguments (and in a way, admits moral defeat).

        The man who raises a fist has run out of ideas. -- H.G. Wells, "Time after Time"
      • by hackingbear (988354) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @01:40PM (#23128490)

        That could be the case for the Chinese people, but conversely, after years of hearing anti-China media coverage, it is hard for you to make a distinctions between myths announced by the Tibetan movements and facts in Tibet, between past and present, between Tibetans in exile, Tibetans supported by political influences/CIA, and Tibetans in Tibet.

        It is wording like the summary and your comment that angers Chinese people who take actions on themselves. In fact, from the events in the past few years, like the bombing of Chinese embassy in Kosvo in 2000, Chinese fighter jet's collision with the US spy plane in 2001, and the anti-Japanese protests in 2004, it was the Chinese government who was afraid of overrun patriotism. Just yesterday, the Chinese government mouth piece published a statement [sina.com.cn] asking for calm and ration in patriotic actions, like what they did after the earlier mentioned events. You could say the Chinese government is freaking about destabilized society, whether that is caused by Tibet, Falun Gong or patriotism. Blaming every anti-West protest as government sponsored is exactly what humiliate those who are patriotic.

        In general I feel that whenever 'weapons' (DoS attacks, censorship, physical force) are used to end a discussion, it means that party has run out of reasonable arguments (and in a way, admits moral defeat).
        Are you referring to the physical attacks to the Olympic torch relay by the pro-Tibetan?
      • by DarkOx (621550)
        I know everybody loves their cheap goods, and our government is little more then a corporate puppet show now; but seriously its time to take away China's most favored status as a trade partner. They are abusive and dangerous to their own people and plain dangerous to US.

        I am not suggesting any sort of war or major conflict just strict rules against travel their for citizens the same we have for Cuba and a trade embargo. We should at the very very least boycott the Olympic Games to make a satement.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:50PM (#23128896)
        "after so many years of communist rule, it is hard for Chinese people to make a distinction between government, communist party, policy and country"
        Couldn't disagree more. As a UK born Chinese I can honestly say it more about the sheer hypocrisy of the west and also the 'way' in which those protests against the torch were carried out. Just to set the background, I was born in the UK, have some English relatives, went to public school etc. and probably speak better English than 99% of English that you find on the high street. For all intents and purposes I am 'British'. I am also very aware of my cultural identity and ties and am very comfortable in both environments. However for all my Britishness, the way that western media have portrayed this whole saga has been very disturbing for me. So much so that I am actively questioning my loyalties to the UK and the west in general.
        We are all aware of human rights abuses in China (yes, even the Chinese in China) but the fact is if you go there you will see that the great majority of people are happy and grateful to the government for raising them out of poverty. What westerners can't grasp is how people can have such loyalty to a communist government. But that is a westerners' view through western tinted glasses and I can't help but feel there is lingering colonial attitude to the idea that somehow western democracy is the only way to govern and whether you like it or not, you "other countries" should have it as well regardless of what the majority of people in the country think. The fact is the relationship between the Chinese population and the Chinese government is much more, shall we say paternal. We do recognise that there needs to be change but that change must be at "our" pace, not yours. China has achieved more since opening up than almost any other country in history has in the same amount of time, but even that is not enough, the time scales most Chinese think about for democracy is in terms of 30-50 years. Not tomorrow or next month or next year. For some reason what took centuries to achieve in western democracies by western demand, must occur overnight in China. That of course doesn't preclude it from being possible but it is not necessarily desirable. China looks at the incredible instability that the break up of the USSR brought about and it nerve wracking not just for China but also for all the neighbouring countries.
        On the subject of Tibet, it is not as simple as "Free"ing Tibet as so many band wagon jumpers have proclaimed. The fact is the histories are intimately tied and in addition to that Tibet has one vital resource that China absolutely cannot do without. Water. Both the Yangtze and Yellow river are sourced from the Tibetan plateau. An independent Tibet means there is no longer a guaranteed source of water. Without that, you have a country the size of the US without a major source of water. So what do you do? If you allow the break up of a unified China, you lose control of your source of water and run the risk of 50+ ethnicities all going there separate ways. You also lose control of all the nuclear weapons and have to deal with the ensuing headache. Those that say talking to the Dalai Lama is the solution also only have half the story. The Dalai Lama only speaks for a section of the exiled Tibetan community. Although he states his aims are an "autonomous" region with true autonomy, there is firstly no accounting for mission creep - give an inch take a yard, and secondly he does not speak for the Tibetan Youth movement who demand full sovereign status. The two entities are entirely at odds with each other. What is more the Dalai will die eventually; the youth movement will outlive him so it is their demands that have to be dealt with. So speaking to the Dalai Lama does not lead to a solution, it leads to maybe half a solution whilst he lives but would ultimately, with his death (insert reincarnation joke here!), lead to demands for fully sovereignty which, given the resource at stake is not acceptable.
        Much is also made of the non interve
      • I lived in Taiwan back during the first Presidintial elections in Chinese history were held. And when the Mainlanders starting lobbing missiles right outside Taiwan ports as part of military "Exercises" etc. And (most relevent to the issue at hand) when Taiwan and China engaged in "Cyberwars."

        At the time it was pretty clearly a pissing contest between unorgainzed college students trying to deface websites from the other country. It went on for awhile and then died down. Not long after both sides reportedly
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwater (72834)

        ...and maybe someday the Chinese *people* will realize that Tibetans just want the same thing as the Chinese: run their own affairs, be left alone, and live in peace with their neighbors

        The trouble is that people in 'the west' have been educated to think that Tibet is independent (or should be), and so any argument or commentary starts with that assumption. I have yet to see any commentary in the western media that isn't dripping with blatant bias. This mostly has come about due to the anti-communist attitude of various US presidents and their attempts to work against communism, whether directly or surreptitiously.

        I also have yet to see any reference to the historical involvement of Brit

      • by microbee (682094)

        I am from China and have been living in the US for 10 years. For the recent Jack Cafferty remarks, I do feel that it's not as simple as criticizing the Chinese government.

        If you read Jack Cafferty's entire remarks [cnn.com], you will find that he talked about things like "import junk" and Chinese workers earning "one dollar a month". These words indicate Chinese people are some kind of cheap laborers with low quality of life. It's very hard to believe he clearly meant Chinese government, or he himself has clear dis

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      No one beats the USA over the head for the shit they do... why does everyone want to gang up China? At least the Chinese government keeps things mostly local.
  • by Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:06AM (#23126996)
    No, I don't, and nor does anybody else. Since when did an attack coming from a country mean the government was involved? How many domestic hacking attempts have there been against the government? Was the government hacking the government? Hardly. Given the public Chinese outcry against the West for the way we've treated the Tibet issue, isn't it quite possible, quite plausible, that a few people out of 1 321 851 888 candidates took it just a wee bit too far? Why on earth must the government be under suspicion before we even have a clue as to who did it?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm Hey, at least they didn't write "it begs the question"!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:28AM (#23127114)
      Dude, you don't get it do you? The government would have to be involved, because there is no way any of the 1321851888 people in china could ever disagree with our western ideals! If that were the case I might actually have to accept the idea that every day people might feel differently about stuff than I feel about stuff. And thats just not going to happen.
    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:29AM (#23127118) Homepage Journal
      It is probably more along the lines of a wink and a nod and looking the other way, not organized government sponsorship. As others have noted, the 'Great Firewall' could easily block DOS attacks but didn't in this case.
      • It is probably more along the lines of a wink and a nod and looking the other way, not organized government sponsorship. As others have noted, the 'Great Firewall' could easily block DOS attacks but didn't in this case.

        Id say more along the lines of shouting "CNN, hate china!, are your patriotic!" then turning the otherway.

        My dad used to have a similar technique for dealing with bullying when he was a teacher, he would find out the kid had been bullying a 1st year, then get called out to some bullshit, and leave some kid he'd just caught bullying smaller kids, in with his form (who where oldest, biggest bullies) for a few minutes. Im just glad i didn't go to any schools he taught at!

      • by Alsee (515537)
        Nah, the Great Firewall here is irrelevant. It's not set up to scan for or block a DOS attack, it's designed to catch outgoing requests for (and block the reply of) specific censorship content. And even if it did happen to have those capabilities, someone at Firewall Management would pretty much have to be informed that such an attack was already going on, analyze the problem packets, and specifically raise a targeted filter. Considering the whole thing was less than a day, Firewall Operators probably had n
    • by MickLinux (579158)
      I seem to remember previous articles that showed that the Chinese government had sponsored a cyberwar/spamming/hacking network, and several times has tested it against the Pentagon's systems.

      I also seem to remember that Russia had done the same about 4-5 years before.

      Not real big news, actually. Although we probably don't do it through so-called hackers, we probably do have government researchers who probe adversary systems.

      But (assuming my memory is correct) the fact remains that China's method was to us
      • by mi (197448)

        I also seem to remember that Russia had done the same about 4-5 years before.

        No, a lot more recently. When Estonia last year move a monument to Soviet Soldier [wsj.com] from the center of a city to the cemetery, Russians (who refuse to accept, that for most of their neighbors their occupation were worse than the Nazis') were very upset.

        Both — the government and the people...

        In today's China the same sentiment prevails — the Han nationalists are very upset and demand from their government far stronge

      • The Chinese government doesn't have to physically attack Western news agencies that do business in China because:
        1) They merely have to threaten to remove these businesses from China.
        2) They already have the resources to block Web sites without 'hacking' them
        3) There are plenty of anti-Western geeks in China who are more than willing to 'make a point'
    • Why on earth must the government be under suspicion before we even have a clue as to who did it?
      Because we wont get any clues, despite their firewall the PRC wont do anything to find out who did it or punish them.

    • by khallow (566160)
      It's a pretty straightforward principle. If you have the degree of control over your users that China does, then you are responsible for their actions.
    • I wish i could mod the article flamebait. There is not even a remote link or shred of evidence pointing to this. I find it offensive. How is blaming the chinese government for everything helpful? Demonizing countries in pas has sure helped? Oh wait, its made it worse every single time! I think governments need to learn some social graces. If I want a coworker to do something for me I don't call them evil all the time and get mad at them. I'll talk to them and work out something. Try getting your coworkers t
  • by Xest (935314) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:09AM (#23127016)
    The funny thing is, China is one of the few countries in the world that truly has a great big firewall sat at the border of it's internet, so is one of the few countries that actually could do something about massive unexpected loads of outgoing traffic from it's internet.

    I'm not defending the great firewall of China, but I think it's worth pointing out that when the goverment has that kind of control over what does and doesn't go in and out if they wanted to they could easily do something to stop these kind of accusations surrounding large scale DoS attacks unless they're happy for them to continue in which case may the stories continue.

    Of course there's always captured zombie machines outside the great firewall to do the trick, but certainly here in the UK many ISPs take note of which computers are sending out suspicious traffic, I've known a couple of people have their net access disabled by their ISP for throwing out known virus traffic at least. Most responsible ISPs worldwide could no doubt do exactly the same things.

    The real question is could ISPs do this without introducing "feature" creep? My guess is, no, they'd quickly use the tools for blocking bad traffic for blocking things like BitTorrent, well, those few that don't already of course ;)

    It's a shame really that the tools are out there to prevent this kind of bad traffic, and yet the bad traffic is all to often allowed through and the tools are used to filter good traffic which is certainly the case with China. There's a question of what's good and bad traffic of course, but that's a debate for another day I think.
    • by worldthinker (536300) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:25AM (#23127098)
      Attacks of this kind are usually distributed over a "botnet" so not from one particular geographical location. The amount of traffic needed to affect a large scale property such as CNN would effectively clog the bandwidth for a country like China so they would be affecting hundreds of millions of users just to allow a singular hit. That is why distributed attacks are more common.
    • by brass1 (30288)

      Of course there's always captured zombie machines outside the great firewall to do the trick, but certainly here in the UK many ISPs take note of which computers are sending out suspicious traffic, I've known a couple of people have their net access disabled by their ISP for throwing out known virus traffic at least. Most responsible ISPs worldwide could no doubt do exactly the same things.

      Exactly. These guys are doing Command and Control from Internet cafes wherever they are, so there's very little traffic and it's surely wrapped in encryption anyway. Eventually the zombies get shut down, but that may be a matter of hours or days. Unfortunately, current detection and mitigation technologies don't keep up with the rate that new zombies are added to the horde.

      The real question is could ISPs do this without introducing "feature" creep? My guess is, no, they'd quickly use the tools for blocking bad traffic for blocking things like BitTorrent, well, those few that don't already of course ;)

      Just about everyone with a network bigger than a bread box has some type of attack mitigation gear in place. Most of the good stu

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      I am sure the RIAA/MPAA FBI/CIA would _love_ to have a firewall across the USA.... for all I know maybe they do. We know China has one because they are pretty transparent about it.
  • Are we sure this was an actual atack on CNN? Could it have been that they did something right for a change and more than 10 people tried to hit their site and the server just couldn't handle it?
  • Not smart (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sdo1 (213835) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:17AM (#23127052) Journal
    If it is a government sponsored attack, then it's really not very smart. It just serves to bring attention to the issue, not bury it.

    Poking at big news bureaus like this doesn't make them back down. It makes them more resolute in their reporting and possibly (probably) more biased against your cause.

    -S
  • I am afraid that actual incompetence on the part of CNN is being overlooked here. I ask CNN not to look for a scapegoat on this issue.

    There are ways to mitigate the effects of a DoS attack. Knowing how US companies have exhibited incompetence in the past, I will not be surprised if it is the case this time round.

    • Irony Alert! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:38AM (#23127152)
      I ask CNN not to look for a scapegoat on this issue ... Knowing how US companies have exhibited incompetence in the past, I will not be surprised if it is the case this time round

      Right! Who needs a scapegoat? Obviously this is likely the fault of US companies. There's no point blaming someone when we can blame someone that it's more slashdot-friendly to blame. The man! Teh evil corporations!

      For what it's worth, I spent most of my day yesterday in rent-a-brain mode mopping up after a web site defacement that was attempted from half a dozen Chinese IP addresses, succeeded from another one, and which was throwing JS-based redirects at browsers so they'd wind up on web sites hosted in China, where trojan-flavored malware was being served up. There's no way that a country with Draconian content sniffing and a country-wide firewall like China's doesn't know when operations like that are flourishing. FWIW, the demographics targeted in this case were mil/defense types, and the visible content on the redirected target was meant to momentarily confuse people expecting that the specific content they'd have been expecting. Year Of The Rat, indeed.
      • First the hacker attacked from the US, then there were web addres with trojan in europe and the US. Then attacked from all of those AND had web address with trojan based in Russia/ eastern europe, now it is asia and particularly china. I don't really think this is due to the chinese government being being it, but more that it is easier to set up a trojan web site in those countries, than in the US. And easier to cover your trace.
    • It's pretty easy to identify a DoS/DDoS attack. Then your question becomes one of would CNN simply lie to attribute their alleged incompetence to a possibly Chinese DoS attack.

      I doubt it.
  • I'm not saying this DoS attack is justified. However, one cannot deny that many of the CNN reports were either falsified or out of context.
    • One cannot deny? Of course one can. I'm doing it right now. Got some proof to back up you're accusation of falsified reports?
  • by X.25 (255792)
    One has to wonder if this hacking attempt was government sponsored or not.

    You are a retard.

    Based on what fucking evidence/facts did you come to conclusion that you could even remotely involve government?

    Because you're a retard and prejudicial?

    Let me guess, you base your opinion about other countries by watching/reading CNN, eh?
  • We can rest assured that state sponsored hacking is going on. We're doing it. Google "AF Cyber Command" As to whether the Chinese government is involved, that will be difficult to ascertain with any confidence for several reasons (see Great Firewall posts above). Foremost, we didn't invent pausible deniability. The Chinese have perfected inscrutability across the centuries.
  • by solweil (1168955)
    http://bbs.sina.com.cn/zt/w/08/attackcnn/index.shtml [sina.com.cn] The banner at the top says: "Rise up! Resist the demonization of the Tibet incident! Chinese netizens, open fire on CNN and other western media!"
  • Life iin China (Score:3, Informative)

    by canadian_in_beijing (1234768) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:16AM (#23127370) Homepage
    Lived in Beijing for a few years now and it's scary how the government controls and spins information. They allow protests when convenient, recently Careforre (bigger than CNN issue) because of the torch relay demonstrations. So it would be interesting to see if these attackers also try to take down the Careforre website. Nationalism is borderline crazy around here lately...not sure if it's the government or individuals who launched the attack...but in China the government controls the people so it all boils down to one suspect.
    • by dwater (72834)

      Lived in Beijing for a few years now and it's scary how the government controls and spins information.

      I also live in Beijing now, and I don't find it scary at all. The media present various stories of what's happening around the world and within China, both positive and negative are shown. The Tibetan protests *are* shown on the news for example. Actually, I recently took a look at the wikileaks web site (yes, from within China), and a *lot* of the images pertaining to be censored are taken from Chinese TV (CCTV), and while some of the images were a little shocking, NONE of them showed any evidence of viol

    • > but in China the government controls the people

      The Chinese government must be flattered. This craze is actually an example of how the Chinese government *can't* control the people. The craze doesn't gain them anything.
  • Chinese Government (Score:3, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:42AM (#23127478) Homepage Journal
    ``One has to wonder if this hacking attempt was government sponsored or not.''

    There's probably no need. The thing that many people don't seem to realize that the information chinese people in China get and the information people outside China get are very different, and what the implications of this are. I've met a number of people from China, and, simply put, there is a world of difference between what is common knowledge here and what is common knowledge there.

    Where many Americans see the chinese government as a repressive tyranny that needs to be overthrown to allow the chinese people to be free, the chinese see huge economic development and modernization. Where I've heard Europeans call the One Child Policy a crime against humanity, I've heard chinese people call it an unfortunate necessity, put in place for the good of the people. The Dalai Lama? How dare he criticize the chinese who have done so many good things for him! And you may not realize it, but the chinese government is actually doing a lot of good things for the environment.

    Of course, the chinese government isn't perfect, and I think everybody will agree. But, knowing what a chinese person in China does, some of the things that foreign press agencies have been saying about China are completely outrageous. And when they are also critical of your country, some people will get angry. In a large country like China, that means a lot of angry people.

    Remember the flame wars that were all over the net and the media when foreigners criticized the Bush government, its warlike policies, and their attempts to deceive the American people and the world? The same thing is now happening in China. The good thing about it all is that it raises awareness, in China, about issues that are important to the rest of the world. The bad thing about it is that it seems that the criticism is being turned into evidence of a worldwide conspiracy against China.

    Of course, this is the wrong way to deal with criticism. The right response would be to find the cause of the criticism and only then decide on an appropriate action. Perhaps the critics have a point and the situation should be improved. Perhaps the critics are misguided and they should be corrected. Or perhaps their criticism is unfounded - in which case the appropriate response may be to ignore them or to criticize them in turn. Silencing critics is not, I think, an appropriate response.

    One really interesting question is, though, how well informed are the critics? How sure are _you_ about the real situation over in China?
    • I'm just wondering how some of the neocons feel now that the shoe is on the on side... "Criticism is legitimate! It is not unnatural to disagree on national security matters! Patriotism is more than just saluting the flag!"

      Meh. Chickens are coming home to roost - again. Thanks a lot, Dick and Karl.
    • by dwater (72834)
      Mod parent, "balanced", "unbiased".
    • by dwater (72834)
      Here's something that's worth reading, IMO :

      http://www.cs.sfu.ca/~anoop/weblog/archives/000094.html [cs.sfu.ca]

      An excerpt :

      "
      The Chinese invasion of 1950 cannot be divorced from this history thirty-seven years before and the politics of the powers in the region: Chinese, Russian and British.
      "

      The British (of the time, at least) have a lot to answer for, IMO; and I say that as an Englishman myself.
  • by cryptodan (1098165) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:51AM (#23127846) Homepage
    I am glad they left FOX News alone, at least they can still be contacted for news.
  • And then there's this recently penned Chinese pop song, Don't Be Too CNN [hindustantimes.com], accusing Western media of distorting reportage on China.
  • Every time someone stands up to the US (or CNN) and thoroughly pwns them, it makes me chuckle-especially when you can see that it was such a blatantly bad idea (even if it was free speech, they had to see this coming)

    China and the US have both done some grievous things in our day, but there is a reason I would never blame China or expect it to act otherwise, while I will always be outraged when the US pulls off something similar.:

    The US is a democracy..China is no such thing and never has been

    China has n

  • It just occurred to me that all of this new garbage is going down while that jack-ass is still in the Whitehouse.

    Can we all please just keep our heads for a few more months? If McCain can keep confusing his Shi'ites with his Sunis, then it might just be possible that any nonsense resulting from this kind of international friction will be less than globally lethal. I do not want to live in an Orwell novel because some jingoistic Chinese kid decides to take a pot shot at the wrong somebody. This could all

  • After the shitty job the two morons did on the debate the other night, somebody needs to take ABC offline.

    In fact, I wouldn't complain much if they took ALL the broadcast news operations - especially Fox - offline.

    Bunch of fucking incompetent, biased, Establishment-protecting morons.
  • The chinese gov is up to a number of things, but in general if it does not involve pushing their politics, helping their business, or their military, they stay out of it. The gov. is used to CNN being this way, and if they really wanted to do damage to CNN, they would either kick them out or block their server
  • At the time I first read this article I wasn't having any issues accessing CNN, and I didn't remember having any problems on Friday, although today (Sunday afternoon from my location), CNN is now unaccessible.

    I think it's very possible that these DDOS attacks haven't stopped yet.

    Oh, and I'm in Taiwan.

  • Having had a deep and long-time exposure both to the affairs of Tibet and China, what truly alarms me most personally is the ethnic Han Chinese population's near-total lack of compassion and will to understand the Tibetans' suffering and the very present threat of national extinction they are facing, like what happened to the "Inner" mongols, manchus and innumerable nationalities that the Chinese history has conveniently forgotten.

    Even the majority of the ethnic Chinese who've settled into foreign democra

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