The Chinese government said that they were hit with the largest denial-of-service (DoS) attack ever. The DoS hackers attacked websites that have a .cn domain shortly after 2AM local time. The country was hit with another major attack two hours later.
The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) wrote an apology during the outages. The websites were restored by about 10AM. The CNNIC does not know who was behind the DoS attack.
Chinese websites saw around a 32% drop in traffic during the attack.
What Is A DoS Attack?
A DoS attack is when hackers flood a network by sending millions of requests from websites at a time. The network ends up denying many of those requests, but the servers get overwhelmed and the websites go down as a result.
China As An Attacker
The Chinese government has been notorious for conducting hack attacks of their own. For example, security firm Mandiant discover that an arm of the Chinese government was possible for attacking The New York Times website for four months after there was an investigation on China’s Prime Minister. The Chinese government denied the allegations. The Chinese government said that they received a number of attacks from U.S. based IP addresses following that report.
Verizon’s security team confirmed that Mandiant’s report was correct. Verizon found that 96% of all attacks originate from East Asia and China. A lot of these attacks are conducted for espionage purposes.