For many years the Tibet region of the Republic of China has been experiencing conflict. The threat continues online, where Chinese State-sponsored hackers target groups viewed as a threat to the nation; usually pro-democracy movements. The Tibetan community’s exclusive social networking site, unitib.com, is the most recent alleged ally of the Free Tibet movement to be targeted by Chinese hackers.
The DDoS attack was targeted using a ‘fairly large’ botnet, lasting in excess of ten days, according to a Unitib spokesperson. Botnet attacks use an ‘army’ of connected computers which have been silently set up to springboard malicious transmissions to other machines connected to the web; usually without the owner’s knowledge. These transmissions are often vioruses, spam and malware which affect countless other users.
As a result of the attacks, the Unitib team will redouble their security measures with a specific focus on improved captcha barriers. The site’s Tibetan founders, exiled to Dharamshala, India, have released a statement that they are will not be intimidated by the attacks and will continue service as normal. There is a very real concern, however, that these attacks may serve as a ‘warning shot,’ heralding even larger-scale attacks by Chinese hackers in the future.