Five Chinese Activists Websites Attacked by Hackers

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Five Chinese Activists Websites Attacked by Hackers

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, January 25, 2010)- The websites of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), Independent Chinese Pen (ICPC), New Century News, Canyu and Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW) were attacked by hackers of unknown origin between January 23 and 24.

The attacks on CHRD’s website started at around 4pm on January 23 and ended at 8am the following day. A DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack paralyzed CHRD’s website by consuming its server’s resources, so that the server cannot respond to instructions from computers of legitimate users, making it impossible for these users to visit the website. According to CHRD’s internet service provider, the frequency of the attack was at 2GB per second at the height of the incident, the most intense attack the ISP has ever experienced. Because the hackers used fake IP addresses in the attack, CHRD is still unable to locate its source.

CHRD and CRLW are human rights organizations based in China, ICPC is a writers’ association while New Century News and Canyu are news websites. These websites are all run by Chinese activists.

“You need to spend a lot of time to prepare for this kind of attack and you need to get a hold of a large number of computers prior to it. I don’t think ordinary Chinese hackers have this kind of capability. The Chinese government is the most likely suspect for these attacks,” said an IT expert associated with CHRD.

Prior to the DDOS attack, malwares were installed on the websites of CHRD and New Century News, which are currently being removed by their website technicians. CHRD’s website has frequently been targeted for cyber attacks, making it inaccessible for days, especially during “sensitive” periods in China.

On January 22, 2010, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Chinese laws prohibit hacking and the infringement of the privacy of its citizens. CHRD calls on the Chinese government to investigate the allegation that the targeted cyber attacks on CHRD and the other four websites might have originated in China.

For more information, please see

“维权网”关于网站受到攻击的声明, January 24, 2010,

For media contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286
Jiang Yingying, Researcher (English and Mandarin), +852 8170 0237

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