China’s ‘Great Cannon’ could allow online censors to hack sites globally

A team of researchers has named a brand new cyber-weapon controlled by the Chinese administration the ‘Great Cannon. ‘The weapon was lately used within an attack on GitHub and, plus is equipped to concentrating on any computer worldwide collaborating with Chinese sites.

Chinese online censors have established an “offensive system” that will make it feasible for them to hit worldwide web sites offline and put in destructive software on PCs internationally, says a cybersecurity statement released 10th April. The fresh ability, named the Good Cannon, a more influential than China’s Firewall that has been employed in order to hide media threats associated with Beijing.

Lately, the Chinese form of the NYT (New York Times) had been bumped and the report from Citizen Lab claims that the cyberweapon was used to initiate these cyber-attacks. Great Cannon was able to draw this off with a very advanced version of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack which is identified to take place when online traffic through a large number of systems have already been forwarded to some particular sites.

This repeatedly overcomes the target site with the amount of requests, which turn out to be difficult to get it to handle and consequently is definitely fails to keep its virtual position.

The report states, “The operational deployment of the Great Cannon represents a significant escalation in state-level information control: the normalization of widespread use of an attack tool to enforce censorship by weaponizing users. Specifically, the Cannon manipulates the traffic of ‘bystander’ systems outside China, silently programming their browsers to create a massive DDoS attack. While employed for a highly visible attack [in the GreatFire case], the Great Cannon clearly has the capability for use in a manner similar to the [National Security Agency’s Quantum] system, affording China the opportunity to deliver exploits targeting any foreign computer that communicates with any China-based website not fully utilizing HTTPS [Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer].”

The experts furthermore found “compelling proof” that the government of China was finding the assaults and drew direct associations involving the GC and China’s Firewall. In checks of two universal internet relations into China fit in to two diverse Chinese ISP (Internet Service Providers), the experts found the GreatFire case has been kept alongside the GF (Great Firewall). At the time associated with the cyber-attacks the government of China said reports backlinks it towards the attack were “quite odd”.

The researchers concluded, “The repurposing of the devices of unwitting users in foreign jurisdictions for covert attacks in the interests of one country’s national priorities is a dangerous precedent — contrary to international norms and in violation of widespread domestic laws prohibiting the unauthorized use of computing and networked systems.”

Top/Featured Image: By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ali Raza Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a Master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology for SecurityGladiators. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.
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