Cyber army in online attack on government
Authorities in several mainland cities have been struggling to restore their websites after five days of attacks by international hacking group Anonymous as part of its new campaign to free the Chinese people.
Via a Twitter account opened in late March, Anonymous China announced that eight websites ending with 'gov.cn' had been hacked and defaced across the mainland.
The sites were left displaying a message to the Chinese government saying: 'All these years, the Chinese Communist government has subjected its people to unfair laws and unhealthy processes. You are not infallible. Today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.
'Nothing will stop us, not your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot be afraid of an idea.'
Affected sites included: Tongcheng Environmental Protection Bureau in Anhui province; the Chengdu Renmin Nanlu Central Business District; a website featuring population information for Weinan city, Shaanxi province; and the Mianyang Economic and Technological Development Area in Sichuan province.
Last night it appeared that only www.bbdj.gov.cn, a Communist Party website in Babu district, in Hezhou city, Guangxi, was still not working. It was said to be 'under maintenance'.
Bei Feng, a Hong Kong-based internet analyst, said 'gov.cn' on websites generally indicated they belonged to Chinese government-related organisations.
He believed it was the strongest cyber attack yet to be launched by overseas hackers on China, adding that 'this kind of attack could be quite effective' in delivering Anonymous' message.
Bei said smaller, local websites had been worst hit because they were generally not so well protected.
It was previously reported that Vietnamese hackers had attacked a number of Chinese government websites following South China Sea conflicts in early June.
Anonymous has conducted many cyber attacks across the world, often in protest at moves to clamp down on freedom of the internet.
Its push into China began on Sunday when the group tweeted: 'Chinese hackers, programmers etc and hackers all over the world, we invite you to be part of Anonymous China, fighting for justice.'
Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at yesterday's press briefing that the government administered the internet in accordance with the law. 'China's internet is open, and users enjoy sufficient freedom on the internet,' he added.