China is deploying a tool that can be used to launch huge distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to enforce censorship. Researchers have dubbed it “the Great Cannon.”
The first time the tool was seen in action was during the massive DDoS attacks that hit software development platform GitHub last month. The attack sent large amounts of traffic to the site, targeting Chinese anti-censorship projects hosted there. It was the largest attack the site has endured in its history.
That attack was first thought to have been orchestrated using China’s “Great Firewall,” a sophisticated ring of networking equipment and filtering software used by the government to exert strict control over Internet access in the country. The firewall is used to block sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as several media outlets.
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