Chinese Internet shutdown linked to right-wing groups, US shell corporations [World Socialist Website]

I did not attempt to access the Internet here in China at the time of the reported shutdown, so this is news to me. The article includes considerable conjecture but still interesting for that. – Zuo Shou

By Kevin Reed
28 January 2014

Last Tuesday, the Internet in China was rendered virtually inoperable for eight hours. According to news reports, nearly all of China’s Internet users—600 million people—were unable to access web sites including the popular search engine Baidu and the social media site Sina Weibo.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. Beijing time on January 21, the domain name root servers in China began rerouting all Internet traffic within the country to the web servers of two Internet companies in the US, Sophidea and Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT). Web monitoring experts also said that .com, .net and .org Internet addresses failed to load in Chinese browsers during the outage.

The US media was quick to report unsubstantiated claims that the breakdown was caused by Chinese Internet censors who made a mistake and, instead of blocking access to the Sophidea and DIT web sites, accidentally redirected all of China’s Internet traffic to their servers. Aside from the fact that the theory that Chinese authorities mistakenly sent the entire Internet to two IP addresses in the US is on its face implausible, no information has yet been produced to prove this claim.

It is far more likely—based on information available in news reports — that the top-level Chinese Internet servers were hacked by right-wing opponents of the Chinese government and other cyber criminals operating within the US corporate-intelligence community…

…While speculation continues as to the specific cause of last Tuesday’s shutdown, it is not out of the question that the outage was the result of a sophisticated malware operation sponsored by the US government or one of its private contractors. As revealed by Edward Snowden in November, the NSA and its Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO) are the number one purveyor of cyber crime and distributor of malware in the world. These operations rely upon IP address switching and domain name server tricks to lure users into unknowingly loading harmful software onto their systems.

In June, intelligence expert Matthew Aid reported that the NSA and TAO have been engaged for 15 years in a large-scale hacking operation aimed at Chinese computer and telecommunications networks…

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