Did China’s Great Firewall Cause Web Outage?

Some blame it on human error. Others point to hackers. Still others blame China for its own woes. No matter the who or the what, something caused millions of Internet users in China to be rerouted to the Web site of a U.S. company that helps people skirt BeijingEUs Great Firewall of censorship.

According to Reuters, hundreds of millions of people attempting to visit China's most popular Web sites on Tuesday afternoon found themselves redirected to Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), a company that sells anti-censorship Web services tailored for Chinese users.

"I don't know who did this or where it came from, but what I want to point out is this reminds us once again that maintaining Internet security needs strengthened international cooperation,EU Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a daily news briefing. EUThis again shows that China is a victim of hacking."

Lessons Learned

We caught up with Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, to get his take on the hubbub in Asia. He told us he thinks the Chinese government's explanation of a DNS mistake is more likely the cause than "hacking."

EUWhat is more interesting to me is that this is sort of a wake-up call for the Chinese on how important the Internet is to their economy,EU Wisniewski said.

EUWhen they erected the EUGreat FirewallEU the Internet was a play toy and they needed to be sure they could control pornography and religious groups that might impact the Communist party's influence. Now the Internet is extremely important to their economy and the stranglehold of censorship may present an even greater danger,EU he said

Three Theories

GreatFire.org, a group in opposition to ChinaEUs censorship that monitorEUs the nationEUs Internet goings on, has three theories about the outage. Two of them are related to Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in China. The...

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