Chinese Government Brags on TV about Cyber Attacks against U.S. Sites

Friday, August 26, 2011
After consistently denying any responsibility for cyber attacks directed at the United States, China aired a television documentary that contradicts the longstanding denials.
On a state-run television program, the documentary about computer hacking (“The Cyber Storm Has Arrived!”) revealed a short clip of a Chinese military program targeting a Falun Gong website based in Alabama. (Members of Falun Gong have been persecuted by the Chinese government for more than a decade).
The video included the image of someone hitting a button labeled “attack,” which unleashed a “denial of service” assault that’s commonly used to temporarily crash computer servers.
A researcher at China’s top military research institute is seen in the video discussing the importance of interweaving the nation’s ability to attack and defend computer networks.
The video was broadcast in July after the U.S. Department of Defense produced its first cyber-strategy, which Chinese officials viewed as a sign of hostility on the part of the U.S.
“The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that if other countries intentionally break into their computer systems, that constitutes an act of war, and they will return the favor,” the documentary’s narrator says. “The worldwide virtual network is now like a powder keg ready to go in a flash.”
Since news of the video got out, the program has been pulled off the website of state-run TV, however it is still viewable on YouTube.
Chinese officials insist the attack was not the work of the government or military, but rather a recreation by the program’s producer.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Chinese Cyberwar Video Goes Missing (by Ellen Nakashima and Jason Ukman, Washington Post)
China’s Denials about Cyberattacks Undermined by Video Clip (by Ellen Nakashima and William Wan, Washington Post)
Chinese State TV Alludes to U.S. Website Attacks (by Jeremy Page, Wall Street Journal)
Chinese Government Hackers Gone Wild (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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