DDoS Attack Hits Anti-Censorship Site in China

by Paul Davies, March 24, 2015

Arguably China’s most prolific engine in the fight against censorship in China, Greatfire.org, has been dealt a severe blow this week. And many people are pointing the finger directly at the Chinese Government to identify the culprit.

The Attack on Greatfire

Though the attack on Greatfire.org is thought to have started back on 17th March, details are now only just being released about the raid.

It is thought that the site underwent a massive Distributed Denial of Service DDoS attack which uses a series of Trojans and Malware to exponentially increase traffic on the site causing even the mirrored servers to crash.

But when it comes to who would start such an attack, many feel that it is only the Government themselves that would benefit from seeing such sites such as these go offline.

Why Greatfire?

Greatfire.org are one of the loudest voices in the fight against censorship in China.

Over the years their aim has been to provide free and uncensored news and information across the country, offering access to sites that have been blocked by the Chinese Government.

However, in a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the work being carried out by Greatfire.org and other associations including Reporters Without Borders, has been brought very much to the forefront. Which many feel could be the reason why this strike happened at this time.

To date, many social networking and news information provides have been blocked across China, with the Government sighting the need to protect their users from harmful information and terrorist attacks as the key reasons for such limitations.

Greatfire.org are amongst those that feel that every individual should have the right to access information no matter where they live, a policy that Easyhide-VPN have been promoting through the use of our VPN services.

Yet, in China, even the ability to hide IP addresses has been explicitly forbidden to ensure that all users are identified and inextricably linked with their online activity. And with organisations such as Greatfire.org trying to fight the wave of Government pressure, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to start to put two and two together to find the culprit of this attack.

The Effect on Greatfire.org

At the peak of the attack, page requests per hour on the Greatfire.org site exceeded 2.6 billion. And the only way to prevent such an attack having the same effect in the future would be for Greatfire to massively increase the bandwidth of their servers.

However, with the significant cost that such a move would require, it is thought that the anti-censorship plight might be a fight that simply too costly for Greatfire to continue.

Thankfully, for online users in most of the developed world, the provision of high quality VPN services from sites such as EasyHide-VPN means we can offer unlimited access to almost all information across the world wherever you are.

However, if the Chinese Government are using such underhanded tactics to reinforce the censorship limitations in their country, it is going to be a long time before users in China can expect to enjoy anywhere near so much freedom.