Anonymous hacks hundreds of Chinese government sites

Summary:Anonymous has hacked hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites. The attacks range from basic defacements to personal data being compromised.

Update: China admits Anonymous hacks

The hacktivist group Anonymous now has a Chinese branch. An Anonymous China Twitter account was created late last month, was endorsed by the YourAnonNews Twitter account, which by the way has over 562,000 followers now, and the individuals behind it went to work. Boy have they been busy. Hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites have been hacked and defaced in the span of a few days. A couple have also had their administrator accounts, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses posted publicly. On the hacked sites, the group even posted tips for how to circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

A long Pastebin post lists all the websites that were targeted. It contains 327 websites in total, but an updated list, also on Pastebin, brings that number to 485. Most of these websites are operational once again, but many have been defaced a second time after they were brought back. Not all of them were hacked and defaced; some were treated with more viciousness than others.

A separate Pastebin explains why Anonymous China is executing these attacks. The message is in both English and Chinese. Here's the English version:

Hello, we are Anonymous. All these years the Chinese Government has subjected their people to unfair laws and unhealthy processes. People, each of you suffers from tyranny of that regime.

Fight for justice, fight for freedom, fight for democracy!

In the defaces and leaks in this day, we demonstrate our revolt to the Chinese system. It has to stop! We aren't asking you for nothing, just saying to protest, to revolt yourself, to be the free person you always want to be! So, we are writing this message to tell you that you should protest, you should revolt yourself protesting and who has the skills for hacking and programming and design and other "computer things" come to our IRC: http://2.webchat.anonops.com/ channel: #GlobalRevolution .

We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

Here are the relevant Anonymous China tweets from March 30, 2012:

Mass Deface by Anonymous China (pastebin) -> http://pastebin.com/f7nFSFgq #China and all #World we are just getting started. Anonymous China is not affiliated with the GlobalBlackout Joke. #lulz Thank you to all the support around the World, by Anonymous and 'non-Anonymous'. All the defaces (in the mass deface) nongovernmental are to spread consconsciousness even to the webmasters of their websites. Update: mass deface 480+ (.gov included) http://pastebin.com/uqKbmfmm Message from Anonymous China to the chinese government and the chinese people. http://pastebin.com/hQsQUfHV #GlobalRevolution

The next day, on March 31, it got more serious. Yet another Pastebin post detailed the hack of zssf.gov.cn. This wasn't just a hack resulting defacement though. No. This time, phone numbers and e-mails were leaked. First off, two accounts and their passwords were posted. Next, 548 phone numbers were posted, likely belonging to Chinese officials. This was followed by 860 e-mail addresses. No passwords associated with these e-mail addresses were revealed, however.

Here are the tweets from that day:

Chinese Government, prepare yourself again. ;) http://www.zssf.gov.cn/ leaked/hacked by Anonymous China. Mega Leak with phone numbers, emails, etc. Leak -> http://js.cyberpolice.cn/webpage/search.jsp?%3Fspec%3D0&PARA=%22%27%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%28document.cookie%29%3C/script%3E%0A&CRY XSS Injection Vuln. x) ???????????? \\ #Anonymous around thw world fighting for justice. #ExpectUs and expect Anonymous China, we're just starting...

At least three of the sites were defaced again more recently, showing exactly how the defacements look like. As you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post, at the time of writing the first and second sites still have the images, text, as well as a song playing in the background (Baba O'Riley by The Who). There's even a link to tips on how to bypass state censorship, on a separate webpage hosted by each of the hacked websites. It is essentially a copy of a post you can view yourself over at hacktivist.me.

The Anonymous message to the Chinese government and the Chinese people that was posted on these two sites, as well as hundreds of others, is in full below:

Hi all !

Message to Chinese government :

All these years, the Chinese Communist government has subjected its People to unfair laws and unhealthy processes. Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall. So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you.

With no mercy.

Nothing will stop us, nor your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot afraid an idea.

Message to Chinese People :

Each of you suffers from the tyranny of that regime which knows nothing about you. We are with you. With you here and now. But also tomorrow and the coming days so promising for your freedom. We will never give up. Don't loose hope, the revolution begins in the heart.

The silence of all other countries highlights the lack of democracy and justice in China. It's unbearable. We must all fight for your freedom.

At the time of writing, the third site now simply has a message (in Chinese) saying it is under maintenance. I believe the owners have regained control again.

Last but certainly not least, tchjbh.gov.cn was hacked last night and the results were posted yet again on Pastebin. One admin user account and password, four phone numbers, and one e-mail address were leaked.

Here are the tweets between April 1 and now:

Chinese hackers , programmers, etc and hackers all over the world, we invite you to be part of Anonymous China, fighting for justice! Haoh defaces and leaks coming... Today, ... Tomorrow, ... And forever! http://cdcbd.gov.cn/ http://www.qnwqdj.gov.cn/ http://www.bbdj.gov.cn/ redefaced lol, your security still suck. Leaks coming ... Chinese government today, attacked again. http://www.tchjbh.gov.cn/ hacked by Anonymous China. Leak -> http://pastebin.com/BijTmUmH

These attacks seem to have come out of nowhere. China's state media recently cracked down on dozens of websites, penalising two popular social networks and detaining six people, but this is nothing new and is constantly happening in the country. How will the Communist government react?

Update: China admits Anonymous hacks

See also:

Topics: Browser, Collaboration, Mobility, Software Development

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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