We are under attack

We are under attack and we need help.

Likely in response to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), we’ve experienced our first ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This tactic is used to bring down web pages by flooding them with lots of requests - at the time of writing they number 2.6 billion requests per hour. Websites are not equipped to handle that kind of volume so they usually “break” and go offline.

This kind of attack is aggressive and is an exhibition of censorship by brute force. Attackers resort to tactics like this when they are left with no other options.

We are not equipped to handle a DDoS attack of this magnitude and we need help. Some background:

  • The attack started on March 17 and we are receiving up to 2.6 billion requests per hour which is about 2500 times more than normal levels.

  • This attack affects all of our mirror websites. While we have talked openly about our method of using collateral freedom to unblock websites and mobile apps that have been blocked by the Chinese authorities, the WSJ story clearly stated how the strategy works and how it is being used successfully to deliver uncensored content into China. Blocked websites that we have liberated in China include Boxun, Deutsche Welle and Google.

  • We don’t know who is behind this attack. However, the attack coincides with increased pressure on our organization over the last few months. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) publicly called us “an anti-China website set up by an overseas anti-China organization”. We also know that CAC has put pressure on our IT partners to stop working with us. Recently, we noticed that somebody was trying to impersonate us to intercept our encrypted email.

  • Last week, Reporters Without Borders, an NGO based in Paris, used our open source method of collateral freedom to unblock nine websites around the world, including two of importance to China: Mingjing News and The Tibet Post.

We need your help in the following areas:

  • Because of the number of requests we are receiving, our bandwidth costs have shot up to USD $30,000 per day. Amazon, which is the service we are using, has not yet confirmed whether they will forgo this. If they do not forgo this, this will put a significant squeeze on our operations.

  • We need companies like Amazon to be on our side and, more importantly, on the side of freedom of speech. We need you to tell Amazon that you think that freedom of speech is an important issue and that Amazon, as a leading global enabler of the internet, plays an important role in access to information.

  • We’ve upgraded to faster servers and used other techniques to manage the load and it’s working for now but we fear that the attack may be intensified at any time. We need help to manage this. If you have expertise in this area, please contact Charlie Smith or ping us via Twitter.


More Blog Posts

Subscribe to our mailing list
Show content from Blog | Google+ | Twitter | All. Subscribe to our blog using RSS.

Thu, Aug 10, 2023

1.4 million people used FreeBrowser to circumvent the Great Firewall of Turkmenistan

Since 2021, the authorities in Turkmenistan have taken exceptional measures to crack down on the use of circumvention tools. Citizens have been forced to swear on the Koran that they will not use a VPN. Circumvention tool websites have been systematically blocked. Arbitrary searches of mobile devices have also taken place and have even targeted school children and teachers.

The government has also blocked servers hosting VPNs which led to “near complete” internet shutdowns on several occasions in 2022. Current reports indicate that 66 hosting providers, 19 social networks and messaging platforms, and 10 leading content delivery networks (CDNs), are blocked in the country. The government presumably is unconcerned about the negative economic impact that such shutdowns can cause.

Fri, Mar 18, 2022

Well-intentioned decisions have just made it easier for Putin to control the Russian Internet

This article is in large part inspired by a recent article from Meduza (in Russian).

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian users have had problems accessing government websites and online banking clients. Browsers began to mark these sites as unsafe and drop the connection. The reason is the revocation of digital security certificates by foreign certificate authorities (either as a direct consequence of sanctions or as an independent, good will move); without them, browsers do not trust sites and “protect” their users from them.

However, these actions, caused - or at least triggered by - a desire to punish Russia for their gruesome actions in Ukraine, will have long-lasting consequences for Russian netizens.

Digital certificates are needed to confirm that the site the user wants to visit is not fraudulent. The certificates contain encryption keys to establish a secure connection between the site and the user. It is very easy to understand whether a page on the Internet is protected by a certificate. One need just look at the address bar of the browser. If the address begins with the https:// prefix, and there is a lock symbol next to the address, the page is protected. By clicking on this lock, you can see the status of the connection, the name of the Certification Authority (CA) that issued the certificate, and its validity period.

There are several dozen commercial and non-commercial organizations in the world that have digital root certificates, but 3/4 of all certificates are issued by only five of the largest companies. Four of them are registered in the USA and one is registered in Belgium.

Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Announcing the Release of GreatFire AppMaker

GreatFire (https://en.greatfire.org/), a China-focused censorship monitoring organization, is proud to announce that we have developed and released a new anti-censorship tool that will enable any blocked media outlet, blogger, human rights group, or civil society organization to evade censors and get their content onto the phones of millions of readers and supporters in China and other countries that censor the Internet.

GreatFire has built an Android mobile app creator, called “GreatFire AppMaker”, that can be used by organizations to unblock their content for users in China and other countries. Organizations can visit a website (https://appmaker.greatfire.org/) which will compile an app that is branded with the organization’s own logo and will feature their own, formerly blocked content. The app will also contain a special, censorship-circumventing web browser so that users can access the uncensored World Wide Web. The apps will use multiple strategies, including machine learning, to evade advanced censorship tactics employed by the Chinese authorities.  This project will work equally well in other countries that have China-like censorship restrictions. For both organizations and end users, the apps will be free, fast, and extremely easy to use.

This project was inspired by China-based GreatFire’s first-hand experience with our own FreeBrowser app (https://freebrowser.org/en) and desire to help small NGOs who may not have the in-house expertise to circumvent Chinese censorship. GreatFire’s anti-censorship tools have worked in China when others do not. FreeBrowser directs Chinese internet users to normally censored stories from the app’s start page (http://manyvoices.news/).

Fri, Jul 24, 2020

Apple, anticompetition, and censorship

On July 20, 2020, GreatFire wrote to all 13 members of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, requesting a thorough examination into Apple’s practice of censorship of its App Store, and an investigation into how the company collaborates with the Chinese authorities to maintain its unique position as one of the few foreign tech companies operating profitably in the Chinese digital market.  

This letter was sent a week before Apple CEO TIm Cook will be called for questioning in front of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The CEOs of Amazon, Google and Facebook will also be questioned on July 27, as part of the Committee’s ongoing investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.

This hearing offers an opportunity to detail to the Subcommittee how Apple uses its closed operating ecosystem to not only abuse its market position but also to deprive certain users, most notably those in China, of their right to download and use apps related to privacy, secure communication, and censorship circumvention.

We hope that U.S. House representatives agree with our view that Apple should not be allowed to do elsewhere what would be considered as unacceptable in the U.S. Chinese citizens are not second class citizens. Private companies such as Apple compromise themselves and their self-proclaimed values of freedom and privacy when they collaborate with the Chinese government and its censors.

Mon, Jun 10, 2019

Apple Censoring Tibetan Information in China

Apple has a long history of censorship when it comes to information about Tibet. In 2009, it was revealed that several apps related to the Dalai Lama were not available in the China App Store. The developers of these apps were not notified that their apps were removed. When confronted with these instances of censorship, an Apple spokesperson simply said that the company “continues to comply with local laws”.

In December, 2017, at a conference in China, when asked about working with the Chinese authorities to censor the Apple App Store, Tim Cook proclaimed:

"Your choice is: do you participate, or do you stand on the sideline and yell at how things should be. And my own view very strongly is you show up and you participate, you get in the arena because nothing ever changes from the sideline."

In the ten years since Apple was first criticized for working with the Chinese authorities to silence already marginalized voices, what has changed? Apple continues to strictly follow the censorship orders of the Chinese authorities. When does Tim Cook expect that his company will help to bring about positive change in China?

Based on data generated from https://applecensorship.com, Apple has now censored 29 popular Tibetan mobile applications in the China App Store. Tibetan-themed apps dealing with news, religious study, tourism, and even games are being censored by Apple. A full list of the censored apps appear below.

Subscribe to our blog using RSS.


You deserve that for been criminals to the free Internet.

Regarding the DDoS attack - please consider using Cloudflare as a caching layer for your website - they are good when it comes to defending against that sort of attack.

+1 you should sign up to Cloudflare. Let them soak up the attack so you only pay for legit requests.

If you use CloudFlare you'll have to release all your current AWS public IP's and get new ones. Also AWS does give you a layer of protection but it is manual and maybe hard to maintain if the DDoS is from zombies or botnet.

For instance, CloudFlare has a program specially for website that empower freedom speech and I think it won't cost you a penny.

Please sign up for CloudFlare. Even at $200/month you will get significant benefits and DDoS protection, they are REALLY good!

+1 for CloudFlare


Sent you an email, let me know if you need help setting Cloudflare up. If nothing else it's a great place to start.

You should look at CloudFlare. They are quipped to handle this sort of thing and they are definitely less than $30k per day!!!

Cloudflare is 'throttled' in China as with all the other CDN's.
Any requests to a CDN based resource are effectively denied.
Think again.

Cloudflare IP addresses is completely blocked in China. Using CF is not a good choice at the moment.

Create an Avaaz campaign to help support your conversation with Amazon? Might be easier than Twitter for a lot of your readers.

Consider deploying on premises protection to defeat the attack at the very edge of your network. @Corero allows for good traffic to pass, while mitigating the DDoS attacks in real-time.

Time to start naming names.

The president of China is Xi Jinping and everyone should know his name. Nothing in China happens without his consent.

Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping, everytime you hear about censorship in China you should think of Xi Jinping. Everytime you write about censorship in China you should make sure and write his name, Xi Jinping.

Rant over, start naming names people.

Use Fail2ban. No cost, easy to load and protects against several forms of attacks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fail2ban

You can get a similar effect to Cloudflare (unfortunately minus the benefit of their massive infrastructure to absorb traffic) if you install mod_evasive (Apache module) and tune your config a bit. See the DDOS section in the included link, specifically lowering your timeout and keep alive timeout. Also turn down MaxRequestWorkers if your server is spawning too many processes. With mod_evasive, specify the DOSSystemCommand to ban the address using your firewall, for example, with iptables something like:
iptables -A INPUT -s %s -j REJECT
mod_evasive will substitute the %s for the source IP.

Check out:
mod_evasive: https://www.linode.com/docs/websites/apache-tips-and-tricks/modevasive-o...

Apache config: https://httpd.apache.org/docs/trunk/misc/security_tips.html

consider moving your hosting to ovh or online since they do not limit you on traffic. and they are cheap. and they offer the best ddos protection there is!

You may consider explaining to amazon that you are under attack and want the traffic dropped upstream.
Amazon should be able to do better than letting the host application absorb the requests (If they can not, I am rather disapointed).

Kim John Coon's suggestion above to try and identify and filter the abusive traffic with iptables will help take the load off your server.


I see that the effected services have been blocked to those outside mainland China. Good move to counter this attack, well done.

Time to start naming names.
The president of China is Xi Jinping and everyone should know his name. Nothing in China happens without his consent.

happy mothers day quotes
mothers day quotes

Just get a firewall. Cisco if it's that bad. Or just use a dedicated ESF server for you're public ip and you'll be protected and it's got a very fast learning curve. We've been fending of attacks every minute from around the world with ESF. You'd be surprised how good this FW is and you don't even need a license.

now we are under attack in AU

blocking, dns fudged to show fake errors, searchines and those widgest they have on so many other websies suddenle become full of outright malicious code .. and that gets worse and worse, even the operating systems (all of them) spit out fake error messages ... some stuff like that even in linux source code .. all operating syste, agffected and the symptoms are the same .. files mysteruiously get deleted (even text files and code), sites get blocked and things reguce to cionnect to local networks unless that is connected to to the outside .. everything suddenly wanting centralised "cloud" logins, and a lot of nasty code snuck into operating syustem updates .. seems like in the last month or so its suddenly malware everywhere on EVERY OS ..
and try searching for a clan install iso of anything and you are quickly under attack from just about everything out there ... ... seems like not just one corrupt corporation but a consortium of the most corrupt corporations on earth and ALL of it seems to be trying to bully people into handing over admin of their OWN pc to unknown third parties i"in the cloud"


"management" stops at the front router .. that the way it will STAY ..

do not EVER give in to those creeps - DO NOT BUY THEIR STUFF - make sure everyone knows

yes it IS getting into OS updates ..
in open source systems have a look! .. thetre are error messages designed to MISLEAD the users - obviously something malicious got in .. and where theres no siource code the effect is the same top - its in EVERYTHING that was updated over the last couple of months.

now the government here even officially passed a bill to fo censorship! .. and its happening all over the world .. same stuff about "metadata retention" .. and they talkk about usage data.. NO - its obiously a LOY more than that if they are putting code on every user pc, deleting their data witrhour warning, and even the error meressages lie and every attempt to get rid of it by trying to find a frees clean distro iso met with attack after attack .. javsript everwhere not just tracking bout way more malicious .. attacks from every direction .. never seen anything this bad... and anty info seems impossible to find ..
censorship everywhere

never would have thought it woyuld become like that over here.. but looks like the same talk from politicians, the same trolling and sloganising from corporations

probably not hard to giess what went on atr those secretive "trade talks"

this looks like planet scale totalitarism .. corruuption fgone mad ..

isd there anything left that is safe? .. how will anyone be abloe to da anyithing if you don;t know id that file will get deleted just after you save it!!!!

and its obviously for censorship , not "copyright" or any other broken nonsense .. whate else could it be if text files and code set it off even more than music or video and it doesn't seem to care whether you made it.

seems like its the worse malweare ever seen coming from every directopm at the same tind along with it a lot of suspicious trolling and "social engineering"

all I can find is the occasional leftover hint ... news items explaining anything rare (probably censored)


it looks like a consortium f the most corrupt corporations on earth have been changing the law in every counltry precendent by precedent over the last decade and syicking their dirrty fingers into everything.. not it sems the have a leash on nearly every government and their security agencies .. the most corrupt corporations on earth - and those obvously stacked meetings of so called "standards bodies" in recent years .. yes they are even hijacking network protocols...

.. probably not hard now to guess what went on in those secretive talks .. with all that happening since then


what sort of idiot would want to trust lowlife like that with anything?

by now they should know what I think if their "cloud" bullshit!

no .. no way
I would want let third party "management" run by people so corrupt near any box let alone break things, delete data and try to destry my life! .... I will fight in anyt way I can to keep those
creeps out.

it might help if there was a still a way to communicate with anyone without anything important or even slightly interesting disappearing .. but nonetheless they are not getting in my jouse .., I never wanted to be anyones enemy and won;t be selling out to their ways and hurtunbg anyone .. but I sure as hell won;t lert them control anything here!

so angry I can barely type...

don;'t want to even think about what other people might do .,.

no i despite how bad the furureits looking I just won;t put up with it ..
btrining that inot my house makes it *personal* and we must make sure EVERY company or person who helped them attack us NEVER EVER gets a cent out of ANYONE

yes - Im angry..

intersing though - if this were a file on my h
no i despite how bad the furureits looking I just won;t put up with it ..
btrining that inot my house makes it *personal* and we must make sure EVERY company or person who helped them attack us NEVER EVER gets a cent out of ANYONE

yes - I'm angry..

and don't wan't any "management" crap destroying my life .

and I never try to hurt anyone.. I'm actually still human, unlike those creeps

Keren bingitz sist, makasih sharingnya. Ini artikel yang saya cari
selama ini. Informasi seputar web hosting yang sangat bermanfaat.
Kalau boleh tulis juga bro tulisan menegani hosting murah dan olshop.
Ane mau ngerti banget soal itu.

Look at my blog post - hosting usa murah

Ulasan bermanfaat soal web hosting ini baru pertama kali saya baca.
Keren sekali dan penting. Setiap orang yang pakai ataupun sedang mencari service web hosting terbaik di Indonesia wajib baca artikel ini.
Mampir juga situs saya ya, banyak ulasan menarik yg bisa jadi berguna bagi para
pencari layanan web hosting murah.

Ulasan bermanfaat tentang hosting ini sangat bermanfaat.
Bagus sekali dan bermanfaat. Tiap orang yang pakai maupun sedang cari jasa web hosting
terbaik di Indonesia wajib baca ulasan ini. Mampir juga website saya ya,
ada artikel menarik yang bisa jadi bermanfaat bagi para
pemakai jasa web hosting. Tq.

my website web hosting murah

Ulasan bermanfaat tentang web hosting murah ini keren banget.
Bagus banget dan penting diketahui. Setiap orang yang pakai maupun sedang mencari layanan web
hosting terbaik di Indonesia harus baca ulasan ini.
Kunjungi juga website saya ya, ada tulisan menarik yang
bisa jadi bermanfaat buat para pencari service hosting. Thanks.

Bagus bingitz bro, makasih ilmunya. Ini ulasan yang saya searching
sejak lama. Informasi soal hosting yang sangat berguna.
Sekedar usul buat juga sist review soal hosting murah dan olshop.
Ane mau tahu banget tentang itu.

it was nice to read to read d blog.. i wil also share it with my frnds, meanwhile go through my blog which is about printable calender, http://www.printablecalendardownload.net/ also another blog, go through this http://www.printablecalendardownload.net/
thank you

I know this website presents quality depending content and extra stuff, is
there any other web site which presents these kinds of things in quality?

Feel free to surf to my web site

Golden Globe Awards 2016 Live Stream || @ On January 10, 2016 set the date for the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards by The Hollywood Foreign Press.

Golden Globe Awards 2016 Live Stream

Justin Bieber Tickets Tours & Concert Updates

Knock! Knock! Knock!!! Hello……!!!! We are back with a big bang award show which is Golden Globe Award 2016. Great show, some great people, beautiful and spectacularly talented actresses/actors and lots of fun, entertainment, and suspense’re to be revealed.

This award has been continuing since 1943. Group of writers gathered together to frame the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and made liberally distributed award named Golden globe Award where they play momentous role in film making. The first award was being honored on best achievement in 1943 filmmaking and was held in January 1944, at the 20th Century –Fox studios. Successively, every year ceremonies were held in different venues for decades.

thanks for this article....topic is good....
memberi solusi semua problem seks pasutri yang paling bagus.
solusi cepat dan tepat segala masalah seks anda.

Save them from the attack:

techiestate.com | techpepe.com/

good MSQRD for Laptop or computer, Mobile computer on Glass windows 7 Download from below. MSQRD Download Trade for exceptional trending fun photography and training video, MSQRD App Android nice.

good When we wish to promote photographs, audios, SHAREit for PC or you can finish the transferring.I myself used SHAREit app apk better.

good I have actually been utilizing Snacks Time app for iphone imobdro.com constantly invest their spare time with enjoyment. great.


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.