Recently, ZDNet said that China once deployed a DDoS tool called “Great Cannon”. It is believed that the “Great Cannon” launched an attack on LIHKG, an online forum of anti-Beijing protests organized by Hong Kong residents in China not long ago.
The Great Cannon of China is an attack tool that is used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks on websites by intercepting massive amounts of web traffic and redirecting them to targeted websites. According to the researchers at the Citizen Lab, the International Computer Science Institute, and Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy, who coined the term, the Great Cannon hijacks foreign web traffic intended for Chinese websites and re-purposes them to flood targeted web servers with enormous amounts of traffic in an attempt to disrupt their operations. While it is co-located with the Great Firewall, the Great Cannon is “a separate offensive system, with different capabilities and design.”
The ZDNet claimed that in 2017, China used the Great Cannon to launch a DDoS attack on Mingjingnews.com, a Chinese news website in New York. Previously, DDoS attacks have also been launched using Great Cannon against GitHub and the global public Internet censorship portal GreatFire.org.
ZDNet said that in this incident, the target of the attack was an online platform, LIHKG.com and that the organizers of the 2019 Hong Kong protests in China often shared information on the site of daily demonstrations.