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US-Based Chinese News Site Gets DDOSed

Attack knocks out 2,000 Chinese dissident blogs hosted on the site

A U.S.-based Chinese News Website has been hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack that journalists say may have been orchestrated by hackers in China.

The attack on Boxun also knocked down some 2,000 blogs hosted on its site. "We have never before experienced such a DDOS attack, which consists of bombarding the site with an almost infinite number of connection requests," Wei Shi, editor of Boxun, told Reporters Without Borders. "Our boxun.com/blog platform crashed on 24 December. We are not even sure if we will be able to recover all the data and we will have to find a new server."

Reporters Without Borders expressed outrage on this latest attack on a Chinese dissident Website, and noted that this is not the first hack on Boxun. An August attack affected 10 U.S.-based Chinese dissident Websites, and another had to shut down altogether in July. Reporters Without Borders says journalists and dissidents in China who write for Boxun appear to be targeted most often.

Several Boxun reporters have been arrested and imprisoned over the past year in China, under charges such as "criticizing abuse of authority," "subverting state authority," and for "alarmist reports," according to Reporter Without Borders. Another Chinese blogger was committed to a psychiatric hospital in August, which his family says occurred in response to his blog writings.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

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