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Who Hacked China's Internet Yesterday?

Filipe Matos Frazao/Shutterstock.com

On Sunday morning, China's Internet was hit with the largest Denial of Service attack it has ever seen, according to China Internet Network Information Center. The assault, which took down sites like Weibo (the Twitter of China), Amazon.cn, and the Bank of China, resulted in a 32 percent drop in Internet traffic — and nobody knows who did it.

The attacks came in two waves, starting at 2 a.m. and then again at 4 a.m. Denial of service, or DDoS, attacks use malware-infected computers to overwhelm a network by hitting servers with more activity than they can handle, overwhelming websites so that they are rendered inaccessible . Reports say the outages across China lasted somewhere between 2 and 13 hours. It's unclear if the attacks are ongoing, but much of the Internet under the .cn domain is working now, according to The China Real Time Report

The CNNIC says it will release more information shortly, but so far hasn't confirmed the origin of the attacks. Despite what sounds like a complex take-down of part of China's domain, a single person with little hacking experience could have performed the hack, according to Matthew Prince, the CEO of CloudFlare, which provides Web performance and security services for more than a million websites. "I don’t know how big the 'pipes' of .cn are, but it is not necessarily correct to infer that the attacker in this case had a significant amount of technical sophistication or resources," he told The Wall Street Journal's Paul Mozur Monday afternoon China time. "It may have well have been a single individual."

(Image via Filipe Matos Frazao/Shutterstock.com)

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Credential-stealing malware / User accounts compromised / Software vulnerability

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