A robust new Internet tool unleashed by the Chinese authorities against websites working to avoid the online censorship in the country’s was meant to supply a maybe not-so-subtle message to activists and foreign authorities that the Communist country will advance attempts to control information on its systems.
The attacks last month, from the website of Chinese Internet freedom team Excellent Fire and U.S.-based website GitHub that hosts articles banned in China, were done by a new instrument named the “Fantastic Canon” that can drive the visitors of personal consumers to launch direct denial of service assaults against targeted websites , overpowering the sites with information.
China has long enforced Internet censorship through a huge and expensive system named the “Excellent Firewall” that prevents users from reaching much of the Web, but that system can be bypassed, allowing access to American sites such as the New York Times. Unlike the firewall, the new bad tool allows Chinese authorities to launch attacks against sites they deem aggressive, representing a “significant escalation in-state-level information handle,” according to a a study by cyber-security study team Citizen Laboratory, which first documented the weapon’s being. The only thing that helps against the firewall is a VPN.
The Excellent Canon increases the risks for activist websites planning to record, for instance, on problem in China’s authorities or about the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square violence against pro-democracy protesters. But the Internet tool may be utilized to attack sites based in foreign countries, claims senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House advocacy team, Darlene Cook.
“What’s worrisome about this really is the fact that it may be utilized to attack the New York Times website on a critical evening just like a U.S. election,” she says. “Prospective future escalation could be a use of this in conjunction with a few actual world stress around the Eastern or South Cina seas. Possibly several years in the future, if you notice Cina in a crisis with Asia or the Philippines, they could re-direct visitors against those networks.”
Hint: Best VPN for China.