Sat, Apr 03, 2010 - Page 4 News List

Hackers hit Web site of foreign reporters in China

DENIAL-OF-SERVICEThe Internet addresses of the attackers originated in China and the US, but the club said these could be an attempt to mislead

AFP , BEIJING

China’s foreign journalists association said yesterday it had taken its Web site offline after it was targeted in repeated denial-of-service attacks.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it did not know who was behind the attacks but that they originated from Internet addresses in China and the US.

However, it noted the “physical location of the servers does not tell us much since hackers can use any machine they have been able to exploit.”

The statement said the club, regarded by the Chinese government as an illegal organization, “has been the target of persistent denial-of-service attacks.”

“We have taken the site down temporarily while we work to sort out the problem,” it said.

A denial-of-service attack floods a network with so many requests that normal traffic is slowed down or completely interrupted.

The move comes after Google re-routed traffic from its Chinese-language search engine to an uncensored site in Hong Kong over state Web censorship and cyber-attacks on Gmail accounts it said originated in China.

There have been mounting allegations overseas, including by the US government, that China is ramping up its global cyber-espionage and has become a key source of world cyber-attacks — a claim denied by Beijing.

The FCCC said on Wednesday that the Yahoo e-mail accounts of foreign journalists based in China and Taiwan had been targeted in hacking attacks.

“In one instance, a Beijing-based journalist’s account had an unknown forwarding address added, sending all the journalist’s messages to an unknown recipient,” it said in a notice to members, adding that it had confirmed eight cases.

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