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China's Internet Hijacking Exposed

Recently, cybercrimes experts have announced that they have got evidence that China hijacked Internet for 18 minutes during April 2010. China took up 15% of the traffic from the US military and civilian networks along with a great chunk from other Western nations, as reported by Gizmodo on November 17, 2010.

On April 8, 2010, China Telecom's routers posted messages announcing that their network channels were the quickest accessible at that time. As, trust between the world's telecommunication providers is the basis of traffic routing, other Internet routers redirected their traffic via China's network.

As per a congressional commission report, it was not instantly clear that whether this whole incident was intentional, but the April 18 redirection could have triggered malicious activities and considerably caused an unintentional "diversion of data" from the various U.S. government, military, and commercial websites.

Proof related to this incident does not visibly indicate whether it was executed deliberately and, if so, to what extents. On the other hand, computer security researchers highlighted that the capability could trigger various risky malicious activities.

Commenting on the matter, Dmitri Alperovitch, Vice President of Threat Research at McAfee, stated that, these kinds of attacks occur accidentally a few times every year. But the trait that differentiates this incident from others was that China's Telecom managed to take up this huge amount of data and sent it back out again without anyone observing a interruption in the service. Dmitri further added that during earlier incidences, the data would have reached into a dead end, and users would not have been competent enough to connect, as reported by Time News feed on November 17, 2010.

As with earlier Chinese cyber-security violations like, Ghost Net, it is uncertain whether the Chinese government was responsible for hijacking or it was the work of autonomous nationalist sources inside China.

On the other hand, the Chinese Embassy in Washington stated that, the news was based on unproven baseless information and Chinese laws stringently prohibit hacking or other illegitimate activities on computer or computer networks.

Sam Masiello, Director of Threat Management at McAfee stated that, in spite of the aim behind the violation, this kind of an attack showed that there is a flaw in the Internet system, even if someone is proficient of hijacking it for a short span of time, as reported by Fox news.

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