China web outage linked to Great Firewall

23 Jan 2014
Daily News

A problem with China's Great Firewall sparked a massive internet outage that left an estimated 200 million users cut off from the international web for several hours.

The firewall briefly redirected Chinese web users to a site operated by Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), a Falun Gong-linked company that sells web services designed to help Chinese web users circumvent mainland censorship systems.

The Chinese government has suggested that hackers are be to blame for the attacks, and the National Computer Network Emergency Response Centre is investigating the incident.

But sources familiar with the Great Firewall's operations toldReuters that the malfunction was not down to a hacking attack, and was more likely to be the result of an engineering error made while tweaking the firewall.

The malfunction specifically resulted in Chinese DNS requests not linked to a .cn address being redirected to the IP address pointing to the DIT homepage. Independent security researchers have traced the fault to the Great Firewall servers themselves.

The glitch reportedly resulted in roughly 1 million requests per second being sent to the DIT site.

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