China’s Great Firewall Mishap – A Hack Attempt or A Human Error?

News & Events 23 Jan 2014
China’s Great Firewall Mishap – A Hack Attempt or A Human Error?

On Tuesday, the internet traffic in China experienced abnormal internet behavior. As the web visitors punched in their queries, they were mysteriously directed to the IP addresses belonging to a company operating from a 1700-square foot home located in the neighborhood in Cheyenne, Wyo. Not much is known about the company, but eyebrows were raised on noticing that the maximum traffic was being redirected to the Internet addresses of DIT (Dynamic Internet Technology). The company is popular for producing anti-censorship tool called FreeGate enabling people to evade barriers like the Great Firewall.

The company has been under the scanner of the Chinese Government. They maintain a low profile in the society and like to fiddle with the Chinese censorship system. The company has ties with Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline forbidden by the Chinese government.

On noticing the glitch, immediately concerns were raised assuming a possible hack by DIT, which was obvious considering the History and company’s objectives. Furthermore, the official Xinhua news quoted the experts saying that the questioned firewall behavior was possibly due to the hack attack.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang, during a daily briefing, said he “noted” there is the involvement of Falun Gong, but was not sure about the source responsible for this mishap.

“I don’t know who did this or where it came from, but what I want to point out is this reminds us once again that maintaining Internet security needs strengthened international cooperation. This again shows that China is a victim of hacking.”

On the other hand, sources close and familiar with the Chinese government’s web management stated that hacking attempt was not to blame for the vulnerability. The glitch may be due to an engineering error occurred while making changes to the Great Firewall.

This vulnerability has baffled the web management of the Great Firewall questioning the security of the Great Firewall. This loophole is also closely investigated as it may result in data compromise of more than 591 million internet users of China. Though, the reason for the abnormal behavior of the Great Firewall is unclear, the state-run CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) is investigating the incident.

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One Comment

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