China's Internet hit by DDoS attack; sites down for hours

The country's Internet watchdog says that the Net is back online for the country and that it will work to improve security.

China's Internet was taken down in an attack on Sunday that could have been perpetrated by sophisticated hackers or an individual, security experts say.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported on the outage, China on Sunday was hit with what the government has called the biggest distributed denial-of-service attack ever to rock its ".cn" sites. The attack, which lasted up to four hours, according to security company CloudFlare, left many sites with the .cn extension down. According to the Journal, parts of the affected sites were still accessible during the outage, due mainly to site owners storing parts of their pages in cache.

In a statement on the matter, the government-run China Internet Network Information Center confirmed the attack, saying that it was indeed the largest the country has experienced. The center said it is gradually restoring services and will work to improve the top-level domain's security to safeguard against similar attacks.

It's not currently known who attacked the Chinese domain. However, in a statement on the matter, CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said that while it's possible a sophisticated group of hackers took .cn down, "it may have well been a single individual."

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