Chinese websites 'defaced in Anonymous attack'
The Anonymous hacking group claims to have defaced almost 500 websites in China.Targets hit in the mass defacement included government sites, its official agencies, trade groups and many others.
A message put on the hacked sites said the attack was carried out to protest against the Chinese government's strict control of its citizens.
It urged Chinese people to join Anonymous and stage their own protests against the regime.
Attack pattern The announcement about the defacements was made via an Anonymous China account that was established in March. A list of the 485 sites affected was put on the Pastebin website. Separate Pastebin messages posted email addresses and other personal details stolen when sites were penetrated.
Sites defaced had the same message posted to them that chided the nation's government for its repressive policies.
It read: "Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall."
China has one of the most comprehensive web surveillance systems in the world, known as the Great Firewall of China, that reinforces its broader social controls. The system polices where Chinese people can go online and tries to restrict what they can talk about.
On defaced pages, the Anonymous attackers also posted links to advice that could help people avoid official scrutiny of what they do and say online. Much of the advice was in English so it is unclear how much help it would be.
There has been no official confirmation of the defacements. News wires reported that government officials had denied any had taken place.
However, many of the sites listed are now offline and a few others displayed a hacked page for a long time rather than their own homepage.
The Anonymous hackers reportedly successfully attacked some sites a second time once the original defacement was cleaned up.
Hong Kong tycoons under arrest
Flying too close to the Sun?
Mar 30th 2012, 2:38 by J.M. | BEIJING and S.C. | HONG KONG
The ICAC is, as usual, saying extremely little about the case, which involves one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families. Sun Hung Kai’s buildings include the three tallest in Hong Kong. But the investigation will generate enormous media interest. The Kwok family has long been a topic of much gossip in the territory because of feuding among its members. In addition there have been growing concerns in Hong Kong about the cosiness of relations between its leaders and business tycoons. Last month the ICAC launched an investigation into the behaviour of Hong Kong’s chief executive, Donald Tsang, because of hospitality he had received from wealthy businesspeople. This is the first action ever taken by the ICAC involving someone of his paramount rank. Mr Tsang denied breaking rules but apologised for failing to live up to public expectations.
Public disquiet about the tycoons’ influence was evident during the recent competition to replace Mr Tsang, who completes his term of office at the end of June. A former civil-service chief, Henry Tang, was at one time thought to be China’s favourite for the job (an endorsement that carries enormous weight among the fewer than 1,200 members of the election committee). But public opinion turned against him, partly because of his tycoon background, forcing China to switch sides to Leung Chun-ying, a man with a more populist reputation who is regarded with some suspicion by the tycoons (see this analysis by Reuters of the political role of Hong Kong’s rich).
Online commentators in the rest of China are keenly watching the ICAC’s moves. For all the Hong Kong public’s worries about corruption, their counterparts elsewhere in the country have a good deal more to complain about. Even Chinese officials sometimes speak admiringly of the ICAC’s ability to operate without political interference and of Hong Kong officialdom’s relatively clean conduct. But the Communist Party has been reluctant to give anti-corruption institutions the same independent powers as the ICAC for fear of weakening the party’s authority and embarrassing its leaders. As we reported in Banyan this week, Bo Xilai, Chongqing’s recently deposed party chief, is alleged by party officials to have tried blocking a corruption investigation involving his family. It is widely believed, however, that the accusations being levelled against Mr Bo are themselves motivated as much if not more by political rivalry than by any wrongdoing.
At an annual meeting of anti-corruption officials on March 26th, China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, had little progress to point to. He said there were still frequent corruption cases “in departments that possess great power and in areas where the management of funds is centralised”. This was in spite of investigations last year into 2,524 officials at or above the rank of county leader, including seven minister-level officials (compared with 2,723 such officials investigated in 2010, including six of ministerial rank). “Corruption is the most crucial threat to the ruling party”, he said, repeating a well-worn line.
Some of China’s bolder media have dared to suggest the obvious. “If you think that China’s problem can be solved by holding a meeting and issuing a directive, you are cheating yourself and cheating others”, said a commentary in Shenzhen Evening News (here, in Chinese), a newspaper in the Chinese city that borders on Hong Kong. It said that among the many “simple” solutions would be to set up an ICAC. Shangdu.com, a web portal in the central province of Henan, published a commentary arguing much the same. It said Hong Kong’s ICAC enjoyed high public approval because it operated according to procedures over which the public had oversight. “Citizens all have the right to make those who violate the procedures, or fail to uphold them properly, pay the price”, it said (here, in Chinese).
Hong Kong’s citizens may sometimes moan that their democratic rights are stifled, but seen from the rest of China the territory remains a paragon of the rule of law.
China censors microblog websites
|China has launched its toughest censorship move since the rise of social media as the ruling Communist party tries to prevent an internal power struggle weakening its grip on society.||中国出台了社交媒体在该国兴起以来最严厉的审查措施。执政的中国共产党正试图避免让一场党内权力斗争削弱其对社会的控制。|
|Sina Corp and Tencent, the companies operating China’s most popular Twitter equivalents, temporarily barred users from commenting on other posts on Saturday morning.||周六早，中国最受欢迎的“类Twitter”微博运营商——新浪(Sina Corp)和腾讯(Tencent)——开始暂时禁止用户在其他用户的帖子下发表评论。|
|The move followed a government announcement that six people had been detained and sixteen websites closed for spreading rumours about a military coup in Beijing, and government criticism of the microblogs for failing to stop the spread of such rumours.||此举出台之前，中国政府公告称，因传播北京发生军事政变的谣言，有6人遭拘留，16家网站被关闭，中国政府还批评了微博网站未能阻止这种谣言的传播。|
|“Recently, many rumours and other illegal and harmful information have appeared in comments on Weibo,” said Sina and Tencent in identical statements. The two companies said the comment function would be suspended from Saturday morning to Tuesday morning to allow a “centralised clean-up”.||新浪和腾讯发布了措辞相似的声明称：“最近，微博客评论跟帖中出现较多谣言等违法有害信息。”这两家企业都表示，从周六早晨到下周二早晨，将暂停微博评论功能，以便“集中清理”。|
|The blocking became one of the hottest topics on Weibo on Saturday. A search on Sina Weibo for ‘comments suspended’ found more than 23,000 posts.||周六，此举成为微博上最热门的话题之一。在新浪微博上搜索“暂停评论”词条，可搜到逾2.3万条微博。|
|The blocking of the comment function hits the microblogs at their most sensitive point. The vitality especially of Sina Weibo is driven by users’ habit to pass on others’ posts and add their own views.||评论功能遭禁，击中了微博最敏感的部位。新浪微博的活力主要体现在用户转发别人帖子或发表评论的习惯上。|
|Beijing is reluctant to completely abolish social media because it sees them as a useful channel through which people can vent frustration and a tool which allows the party to better understand public sentiment.||中国政府之所以不愿完全废除社交媒体，是因为它认为，社交媒体是人们宣泄不满情绪的一个有用渠道，也是一个让党更好了解舆情的工具。|