Baidu hacked by «Iranian cyber army»

Robert Clark
13 Jan 2010

Chinese search engine Baidu was taken off air for more than several hours Tuesday in an apparent attack by Iranian hackers.

Chinese online newsites said readers had reported outages from all parts of the country after Baidu’s DNS, hosted in the US, was hacked.

The “Iranian cyber army” – the same group which hacked Twitter last month – claimed responsibility for the breach, sparking a brief cyber-war between Chinese and Iranian hackers yesterday.

Chinese hackers attacked and defaced several Iranian websites, including that of the Iranian government, reported.

The motive for the attack is unclear, given that China is a key supporter and exporter to Iran, as well as a source of military hardware, although some speculation is that the Iranian hackers chose US-listed Baidu as a symbol of China’s relationship with the US.

Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, was unavailable from 7am Beijing time Tuesday, when users said they either could not open the page or were directed to a English language Yahoo error page.

A message from the “Iranian cyber army” was posted to the site. Reportedly, a sentence in Farsi said the hack was “in reaction to the US authorities' intervention in Iran's internal affairs. This is a warning,” AFP reported.

Baidu said the site had been restored at 11.20am, but users said they still experienced trouble until 2pm, Sohu IT said.

Baidu CEO Robin Li said in a blog post that the hacking was “unprecedented”.

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