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China's 'Great Cannon': the most dangerous new cyberweapon

China's 'Great Cannon': the most dangerous new cyberweapon
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When it comes to the Internet, China doesn't really play nice. The so-called Great Firewall of China filters the Internet for 1.3 billion people and keeps out any sites and information the Chinese government might not like.

In the other direction, Chinese hackers have a nasty habit of breaking into the networks of major U.S. companies and even government computer systems to steal valuable information. Usually the Chinese government denies involvement, but China might have finally tipped its hand, and in a scary new way.

Recently, the code storage site GitHub experienced a crippling denial of service attack. DoS is where hackers send so much information to the site it gets overwhelmed and shuts down.

In this DoS, just two pages on GitHub were the targets, and those hold the code for GreatFire. GreatFire is a program that lets Chinese citizens get around the Great Firewall and Chinese government censorship. That's a little obvious, don't you think?

DoS attacks are nothing new, of course. What is new is the cyberweapon that was used and how it works.

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