The hacktivist group Anonymous launched an attack on 30 Chinese governmental websites in order to protest the October 2014 arrests of 5 hacktivists who were supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and faced the accusation of diverting a large volume of internet traffic towards the Hong Kong’s government website. The protests in Hong Kong started in the month of September 2014 against the rules imposed by the mainland Chinese government rules and despite the fact that the government has been able to suppress the movement, the protests still continue.
Anonymous declared the launch of Operation China, a DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service campaign targeting the Chinese government’s websites. The campaign was launched on 10th April after the arrest of the 5 hacktivists and the 30 websites which were brought down are a part of this campaign. DDoS attacks are attacks which divert heavy traffic towards the websites which results in a large number of queries for the website. As a result, the server gets overloaded and blocks the queries of even genuine users.
Anonymous has claimed that the protests were one of the most peaceful protests and yet the protesters were harassed by the government and pro China groups. Even the police did not defend the peaceful protesters who were being attacked and harassed and hence Anonymous wants to do its bit to support the protesters.
Among the websites which were brought down were the government websites for several cities in China which include Fengshun County and Huazhou in Guangdong, Cili County in Hunan and Wulian County in Shangdong. Along with these websites, the websites of China Telecom and Hunan Police Academy were also brought down.
These attacks on the website are against the Chinese government’s rules which do not allow any kind of offline or online dissent against the government.