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Fri, May 22, 2015

Twitter: GreatFireChina Links to the CCP Youth League censorship directives - good info, great hack retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @dreamburo: Hackers Leak Files Showing Inner Workings of 'China's 50-Cent Army' - Radio Free Asia retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @AndrewJacobsNYT: A bracing look at what has happened to China's best known rights defenders over the past few years
Twitter: GreatFireChina "2 main criteria for banning books: one black, one yellow: black = political issues,
yellow = sex.” via @ael_o retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina “Chinese dissidents with UC Browser on their mobile device are sitting ducks for surveillance" retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @chenshaoju: NSA劫持访问Google Play商店的连接,利用UC浏览器泄露的信息 //所以,很早以前我就说不要用UC浏览器…… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina Russia threatens to ban Google, Twitter and Facebook over extremist content retweet

Thu, May 21, 2015

Twitter: GreatFireChina Fascinating report - would not be surprised if we see CNN added to list of blocked sites ahead of June 4 anniversary retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @niubi: 移动发狠招手机不实名将被停机 电信联通表示没听说过 China Mobile to turn off all mobile numbers that are not registered in real name by 6.30
Twitter: GreatFireChina Foreign authors warned about book censorship in China retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @AnonyOps: #StandWithRand: Rand Paul gives middle finger to NSA with epic filibuster in protest of Patriot Act retweet

Sat, Apr 04, 2015

CNNIC censors news about their own statement

On April 1, 2015 Google announced that they will no longer recognize the CNNIC Root and EV (extensive validation) certificate authorities (CAs).

On April 2, 2015 Mozilla concluded that CNNIC’s behaviour in issuing an unconstrained intermediate certificate to another company was ‘egregious practice’ and that Mozilla products would no longer trust any certificate issued by CNNIC’s roots. Mozilla also published a more detailed report about their actions.

After unauthorized digital certificates for several Google domains were exposed by Google and Mozilla on March 23, 2015, CNNIC censored any mention of these posts. CNNIC is not only a certificate authority, they are also China’s online censorship apparatus. CNNIC was, is and will continue to practice internet censorship.


News about the April 1 and 2 annoucements has again been censored on social media and also on traditional media in China.

Below is a screenshot of Weibo posts about these announcements.


Tue, Mar 31, 2015

Chinese authorities compromise millions in cyberattacks

The Great Firewall has switched from being a passive, inbound filter to being an active and aggressive outbound one. This is a frightening development and the implications of this action extend beyond control of information on the internet. In one quick movement, the authorities have shifted from enforcing strict censorship in China to enforcing Chinese censorship on internet users worldwide.

Fri, Mar 27, 2015

CNNIC censored Google and Mozilla’s posts about CNNIC CA

This week, Google found unauthorized digital certificates for several Google domains, the root CA of which is CNNIC. Google and Mozilla both publicly disclosed this security incident and published blog posts(Google, Mozilla). However, Chinese translations of Google’s and Mozilla's blog posts were censored on the Chinese Internet.

  • William Long is a prominent Chinese blogger on IT and tech. He translated Google’s security post without adding any personal opinions. The Chinese blogpost ranked #1 when searching CNNIC MITM in Chinese on Google and Baidu. He tweeted that he received a phone call from propaganda department demanding the post to be removed immediately. The post was deleted. Google cache is still available.

Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Evidence shows CNNIC and CAC behind MITM attacks

Since 2013, we have repeatedly called on major software vendors to revoke CNNIC-issued certificates. Most notably, we raised this issue when we reported on the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks on Google, Microsoft’s Outlook, Apple, Yahoo and Github. Mainstream media have reported about these security vulnerabilities before and on March 24, Ars Technica reported on Google’s announcement that they have definitive evidence that CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) was behind a new MITM attack on Google.

From our October, 2014 blog post:

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

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.