Citizen Lab says 'Great Cannon' tool allowed DDoS against GitHub, GreatFire.org

Citizen Lab researchers in Toronto believe that distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which notably struck GreatFire.org and GitHub.com last month, were scaled through the use of an attack tool in China, called the “Great Cannon.”

On Friday, Citizen Lab's Bill Marczak and John Scott-Railton published an in-depth report on their findings.

“Several previous technical reports have suggested that the Great Firewall of China orchestrated these attacks by injecting malicious Javascript into Baidu connections,” the report authors wrote. But their research showed that Great Cannon, a new internet censorship tool at China's disposal, was instead leveraged.

In the report, Citizen Lab explained that the Great Cannon is “not simply an extension of the Great Firewall, but a distinct attack tool that hijacks traffic to (or presumably from) individual IP addresses, and can arbitrarily replace unencrypted content as a man-in-the-middle.”

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