Anonymous wants to take down the Great Firewall of China

Summary:The countless attacks on Chinese websites were apparently just a warm up. Anonymous wants to take down the Internet censorship system known as the Great Firewall of China.

Last week, I wrote about how the hacktivist group Anonymous has a new Chinese branch, Anonymous China, which has been very active since it launched its Twitter account on March 30, 2012. The group has hacked and defaced hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites to the point where China even acknowledged the attacks. The hacking has continued against various websites, but even more importantly, the group has declared a new target: the so-called Great Firewall of China.

Since my last two reports, Anonymous China has hacked shangzhi.gov.cn, publicly posting eight user names and passwords on Pastebay. This was soon followed by the hacking of szzfcg.gov.cn, which resulted in the site's full database being leaked and posted to Wikisend. The document was hard to parse, but I could easily see that it included thousands of e-mail addresses, logins, and passwords.

Here are the corresponding tweets:

Our new IRC channel: http://cbe005.chat.mibbit.com/?server=irc.voxanon.net&channel=%23AnonymousChina channel: #AnonymousChina In a few minutes another hack ;) http://www.shangzhi.gov.cn/ hacked by Anonymous China. Leak: http://www.pastebay.net/380748 @YourAnonNews @YourAnonNews we already told the Chinese people to protest and do occupy. Now we have to wait http://www.shangzhi.gov.cn/ hacked by Anonymous China. Leak: http://www.pastebay.net/380748 its cold there :P http://www.szzfcg.gov.cn/ hacked by Anonymous China. All database! Leak: http://www.pastebay.net/395451

As I've already written before, the Anonymous China group has confirmed they are not Chinese and are not based in China. If they're going to succeed in their new mission, however, they're going to need help on the inside. It's thus not too surprising to see these two tweets:

Chinese hackers :) very well brothers ... we have expected you @YourAnonNews our brothers arrived :)

Below is a message from the one of the members, posted on Pastebay. The poor English makes me think that one of the Chinese hackers wrote this, as opposed to someone from the Anonymous China group, which has instead been writing terrible Chinese (they said they're working on it). Then again, it really can be anyone from Anonymous whose first language isn't English.

Hi, we won't speak in name of @AnonymousChina, this time, we are going to speak in name of every single Anonymous person. Anonymous is an idea and we aren't here for tell you that over and over again. In this moment, that you are reading this, we are going to tell you why "the haters" should like Anonymous. Of course, that would be more exciting and more inspiring if this message was a video in YouTube, with someone talking and pictures and a song that touch in your heart. So before we start, try to make yourself inspiring, play your song and let's start. Like we said, we are not going to talk about what is Anonymous, probably you already heard many times, and still, you think bad about us. First, about Anonymous hackers. We deface and leak government websites, we DoX politics, we try to share this particullary words:"Something is wrong in our world". So for that, i don't know why people still support their government, even knowing the truth, well deep inside. For those who hate that Anonymous go to protests, made a Free Hug day. What is your problem? Do you like that banks and the government still your money? Do you like to have no human rights? Do you like to be with no job? I think the answer is no!

So if you read this and still think the same, read again and with a song more touching. If now you are part of an idea, welcome my friend, we were expecting you.

We will always love everyone in the 99% if you are part of the 1%, because you are rich and don't care about people... We all hope you chnage your mind and help us.

There's the usual signature, with a little bit extra thrown in:

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

And we will always being expecting you!

Last but certainly not least, here are the tweets regarding the Great Firewall of China mission:

To all people, reply this tweet saying all chinese websites you know that are blocked. Chinese government sweet dreams ;] Great Firewall - Power: 100% ... 90% .. 50% ... 20% ... Power off. #GFW will be dead soon. #Anonymous Chinese people, world people, ... reporters too, #GFW we all want it dead, wont be easy... Don't expect in next week, or whatever lol One day we are few, in the other we are some, the next day we are many... a few days after, we are China and all world against this system!

In the previous Anonymous China attacks, some targets have had their administrator accounts, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses posted publicly. On many of the hacked sites, the group even posted tips for how to circumvent the Great Firewall of China. Actually trying to take down the Great Firewall of China is a whole other ballgame.

The Great Firewall of China is a massive and complicated system that blocks all types of content that the Chinese government deems improper. It features firewalls and proxy servers at the Internet gateways, engages in selective DNS poisoning when particular sites are requested, and leverages various other methods to censor the Internet, including Connection resets, DNS filtering and redirection, IP blocking, Packet filtering, and URL filtering.

Frankly, I will be very surprised if Anonymous China succeeds. Then again, if they manage to pull off the feat for even a few minutes, it will be an accomplishment of epic proportions.

See also:

Topics: Software Development, Browser, China, Government, Government : US, Networking, Security

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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