Censorship – Why Anonymous is interested to the Great Firewall of China?

Pierluigi Paganini February 17, 2012


The Chinese government is famous for the high level of monitoring implemented on the internet and in the specific on all the new social media, that is the modern form of censorship, a model that several countries all over the world are taking for example.  Nothing is changed, the government plans to continue censoring social networking sites according to the declarations of the Communist Party and State Council regarding China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) on cultural reform and development.

The outlook is very bad, they are violating human rights in this way being censorship used also for the purpose to persecute opponents of the government. The “Violated Freedom” is the new cyber threat as I wrote in an article some months ago.

What is worrying is that also in those countries where the level of monitoring/censorship is high we observe a high perception of corruption. Corruption and censorship, two sisters who walk hand in hand regardless of human rights.

The Chinese government will increase regulation of domestic social networks and of other social media platforms including blogging, but it is only the beginning because it will also be implemented more restrictive measures to protect private information online and improving the country’s system assess to online security.

Obviously that a so oppressive policy is to the center of a heated debate, inevitable that groups like Anonymous hacktivist may be interested in planning their intervention because the Chinese government, this is the genesis of OpChina campaign. Anonymous hackers, a group named RevolutionSec, have attacked Chinese government websites on Wednesday 15th, posting the stolen data online.
The group has announced to have successfully breached a Chinese government trade site. Following the fashion of the moment, the information was published on Pastebin and via the tweetter platform with the message ” “Bring down the great firewall of China”.

Moreover 8,000 accounts have been compromised exposing the usernames and encrypted passwords.Are we assisting to a true call to arms of the several groups linked to Anonymous?

According to experts, the group is determined to hack the “Great Firewall”, a term that indicates the project of Internet monitoring by the Beijing government called The Golden Shield. Thanks to this systems the Chinese authorities are able to block the access to a number of websites accused of being opponents of the regime or to be outlaw.
The Chinese government on more than one occasion has been accused of having sponsored attacks made by hacking groups against foreign industries and governments with the dual intention of offending the cyber adversaries and steal sensitive information of varying utility.

While I understand the choice to attack what is the symbol par excellence of censorship, The Great Firewall, I am surprised that this happens at this historical moment. Why has not happened before? Why does Anonymous decide to fight the Great Firewall right now?

I illustrate some cases hoping that you can give me your point of view on the subject.

The escalation of Anonymus operations has somehow increased awareness of their skills and it has given the proof that the group wants to compare with more challenging objectives.
Futhermore, we add that the targets hit and the followed timeline of the attacks has certainly provided great visibility to the group, visibility, and consensus used to encourage the involvement of a critical mass to involve attacks.

Another hypothesis is that for some reason the group was directed against the cyber as part of a cyber strategy defined by Western governments. Hypothesis possible if one accepts that the structure may have been infiltrated in some way.

The third hypothesis is very plausible, Let’s think that someone is using the name Anonymous to conduct undercover operations and to be able to attack hostile governments like that of Beijing. Professing itself as members of Anonymous today means having huge acclaim and can count on a critical mass to recruit in cyber attacks. These operations may be used as diversions for further operations of western intelligence in the cyberspace.

The mystery is dense but I believe that in the coming months we will have a clearer picture of the situation.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  (China, Great Firewall)

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