Using what China terms as the ‘Great Cannon’ China has been blocking several websites which the country finds unsuitable and against the Chinese interests as well as those websites which provide mirror images of the websites already blocked by China. The Chinese Great Cannon’s capability to block websites and interrupt internet the internet traffic is unmatched and unprecedented.
The ‘Great Cannon’ has been developed by China by using the technology from the ‘Great Firewall’ which is China’s internet filter and is used by the country to block websites. Great Cannon launches a massive attack through high internet traffic it intends to take down. China has attacked several US websites by using this internet traffic bombardment.
The services of the websites get hampered due to the Great Cannon’s abilities to divert internet traffic towards it targeted website which ultimately results in these websites getting crashed. In a research conducted by the researchers at the University of California, University of Toronto and University of Berkley, the Great Cannon has the ability to crash major websites and highly disrupt internet traffic by bombarding them with internet traffic which is diverted towards these websites.
A report published by Citizen Lab explains that the internet traffic can be interrupted by China when the traffic is passing through Chinese websites and the traffic is then infected with malware which then results in diversion of the traffic towards the targeted websites. China has blocked Baidu, the highest used search engine in China using this method and China has also blocked Greatfrire.org and GitHub websites using this method.
Though the attacks so far have been benign and has not severely affected these websites, there is potential for massive damage and losses to the targeted websites. Great Cannon can not only divert traffic from the websites which are hosted on the Chinese servers but also from those websites which host Chinese contents. Potentially such technology can be used for surveillance purposes as well.