China’s ‘Nice Cannon’ shoots down web sites it does not like
In accordance with a brand new report from Citizen Lab, China has not solely constructed itself a “Nice Cannon” however has already fired it as nicely. This potent on-line weapon appears to be able to intercepting web visitors on the nationwide degree then directing it at particular networks to knock them offline. China’s already extensively suspected of being behind the current assault towards Github, which was overloaded for almost every week by way of “an ongoing and evolving giant DDOS assault.” Now it seems that Github’s attackers used the Cannon to redirect that visitors from Chinese language search engine big Baidu to cripple the web site. All reportedly as a result of the San Francisco-based mostly web site hosted a pair of pages that hyperlink to content material banned in China.
The weapon works very similar to a normal man-on-the-aspect assault, which operates by intercepting knowledge as it’s despatched between two nodes, then redirecting it to a 3rd. The Cannon seems to leverage an analytics script generally distributed by the Baidu search engine. Usually, this script is innocuous, sending knowledge again to Baidu every time a consumer visits an internet site that it’s operating on. However based on Citizen Lab, the Cannon’s creators fiddled with the code a bit in order that, as an alternative of sending a packet of knowledge, it redirected the consumer to Github thereby flooding the web site with visitors from unsuspecting customers.
Whereas the US does have a equally succesful weapon in its QUANTUM program, America has by no means employed it in such a cavalier and public show. What’s extra, it might sign a troubling shift in China’s on-line conduct; shifting from the passive censorship of its Nice Firewall to actively attacking overseas websites with a Nice Cannon.