Cyberprotests planned in support of China

Various groups are rallying supporters online for real-world and Internet protests of allegedly anti-Chinese media on Saturday. Attack on CNN.com is reportedly planned.

Several groups of Internet organizers plan to show on Saturday that they can mobilize patriotic Chinese Internet users and wield their influence worldwide against what they say is anti-Chinese media in the Western world.

The Dark Visitor, a site that tracks the activities of Chinese computer hackers, is reporting that a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on CNN.com is planned for 8 p.m. Beijing time, or 5 a.m. PT in the United States.

But the organizers themselves (Google translated page) appear to be waffling, and Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks reports that there has been little preattack activity within the last 24 hours.

Calling their action the "Revenge of the Flame," a group of computer protesters in China appears to have learned from both last year's cyberattacks on Estonia and the more recent anonymous attacks on the Church of Scientology . But Revenge of the Flame organizers stress that their attacks will not be a crime.

"We want to be patriotic," one organizer wrote, arguing that they intend to link Chinese Internet users together against one target: CNN.com. Should the attack be successful, the Revenge of the Flame planners will then consider immediately dissolving the flame of revenge ("after all, cybercrime is cybercrime," says the organizer), continue to attract more users, and "enhance the people's awareness of network security."

In the real world, a separate, perhaps unrelated, group is planning (Google translated page) for simultaneous protests on Saturday in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Paris.

Meanwhile, yet another Internet site, Anti-CNN.com, claims that protests in favor of China have not been published fairly by Western media in Germany, France, Canada, and the United States.

A banner on the Anti-CNN.com says (translated from the Chinese), "We are not against the Western media, but against the lies and fabricated stories in the media." The site includes example headlines from Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, and Fox News, in which it claims that photos of the police attacking the Monks are Napalese, not Tibetan.

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    As CNET's resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security. Listen to his podcast at securitybites.cnet.com or e-mail Robert with your questions and comments.

     

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