China's Great Cannon Hong Kong Protest

The Chinese government has again deployed the infamous state-backed DDoS attack, aka “Great Cannon.” This time it’s against a forum used by Hong Kong protestors.

According to a report from AT&T Cybersecurity, the target is LIHKG, an online platform where anti-Beijing protestors share the location of daily demonstrations, related videos, visual evidence of police abuse, and more.

What is Great Cannon?

Great Cannon is a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) tool to intercept web traffic by injecting malicious javascript code into the pages hosted inside China. These malicious scripts hijack the user’s connection and redirect internet traffic to targeted websites.

Great Cannon first rose to popularity in 2015, when it disrupted the access of GitHub. Back in 2017, China again used the Great Cannon against Mingjingnews.com, a Chinese news website based in New York.

However, ZDNet writes that China barely uses the DDoS tool since it creates a bad image for the government. Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School reported in 2015 that Great Cannon and China’s Great Firewall had the same code and shared the sever location.

Great Cannon comes back to attack HongKong protestors

AT&T Cybersecurity reports that LIHKG was targeted by Great Cannon DDoS attacks first on August 31, later the researchers recorded another attack on November 27.

Chris Doman from AT&T said that the recent attack’s JavaScript code is similar to the code used in the 2017 attacks on Mingjingnews.com.

Talking about the attack, LIHKG writes that the site received an unprecedented amount of traffic per hour in the month of August.

The site’s previous traffic record has been 6.5 million requests per hour, against the 1.5 billion requests traffic requests in August.

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