Threatwatch

Activists broadcast anti-Communist messages on Chinese TV

Network intrusion

Residents in Wenzhou, a city in eastern Zhejiang province, had their normal television programming interrupted the night of Aug.1 -- possibly by hacktivists who operate when TV supervisors aren’t looking.

One message stated, "Why is Liu Xiaobo of Charter 8 in prison, Communist bandits your words are just unadorned farts, you know the people know that everything you say are just farts." Liu is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident; Charter 08 was a manifesto calling for constitutional reform.

A logo on the hacked TV screen is affiliated with the Anti-Communist Party Hackers. In an email response after the incident, the group denied responsibility, claiming instead that it was the work of "friendly forces" in the fight against the Communist Party, the FP reports.

In the past, individuals claiming to be from the group said they usually execute their attacks late at night, "because the website's managers are off work," and that the attacks usually last "for a few hours or the entire night."

TV viewers took to social media channels like Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, to discuss the abnormal activity on Wenzhou Television.

They began posting photos of the messages, which appeared superimposed over regular evening programming.

About two hours after photos of the hackers' messages began appearing online, the official Weibo account of a Wenzhou media service provider began posting instructions for how to get rid of the messages.

"Remove and then re-insert the smart card from your set-top box; the black text should then go away,” the company directed.

Then, the search term "Wenzhou TV station hacked" was blocked on Weibo due to "relevant regulations." 

sector

Government (Foreign); Media

reported

August 1, 2014

reported by

Foreign Policy

number affected

Unknown

location of breach

Wenzhou, China

perpetrators

Hacktivists

location of perpetrators

Unknown

date breach occurred

August 01, 2014

date breach detected

August 01, 2014