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xinhui
13 Jan 10,, 05:11
Cyberwar breaks out as Iranians hack into Chinese search engine

By Kathrin Hille in Beijing and Najmeh Bozorgmehr in,Tehran

Published: January 13 2010 02:00 | Last updated: January 13 2010 02:00

An unlikely cyberwar broke out yesterday when Iranian hackers attacked China's leading search engine and Chinese counterparts retaliated against Iranian websites.

In the morning, people accessing the web page of Baidu, China's largest internet search engine, found it was covered with a picture of the Iranian flag and other symbols and the words "Iranian Cyber Army".

Not long after, a rallying cry for retaliation emerged in Chinese online discussion groups, blogs and bulletin boards.

In the afternoon, participants and cybersecurity experts started reporting that Chinese flags and nationalist slogans had appeared on websites registered in Iran.

On another website registered in Iran, Chinese hackers displayed a message saying: "Please tell your so-called Iranian Cyber Army: Don't intrusion chinese website about The United States authorities to intervene the internal affairs of Iran's response. This is a warning!"

It remains unclear why Baidu's website was hacked.

A group calling itself "Iranian Cyber Army" had hacked into Twitter last month after the microblogging service had served as an important communication tool for Iranian prodemocracy forces.

China and Iran, both governed by authoritarian regimes, enjoy relatively friendly and stable ties bolstered by China's strong demand for Iranian oil.

But bilateral relations have grown more complicated since the Iranian election last year. The Chinese government censored reports of pro-democracy protests in state media and on the web.

Late last month, following the latest crackdown of the Iranian government, Chinese web users created "CN4Iran", a Twitter topic where Chinese users commented on the situation in Iran in Chinese, expressed support for the opposition and discussed it in the context of China's own authoritarian regime.

Chinese hackers have been very active for years in certain countries. US defence experts say organised groups frequently hack into military-relevant networks in America and pose a security threat.

Chinese hackers also have a record of online fights with counterparts from Taiwan, the self-ruled island China claims, and attacking websites in Japan.

On one Iranian site, hackers proclaimed themselves yesterday as "Honker Union for China". That group identifies itself on its website as an alliance of internet security professionals with links to other hacker groups.

Yesterday, the Honker Union website claimed to have organised retaliatory hacking of Iranian sites, and displayed a screenshot of the website of Iranian State Television with the slogan: "We are China's hacker! Let the world hear the voice of China! The state is higher than the dignity of all!"

The targets in Iran appeared to be picked randomly. One of the hacked sites was an educational website run by Seyyed Morteza Mousavian.

Mr Mousavian said his website intended to teach undergraduate students about networking and the internet.

Another of the targets was the website of the faculty of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the state television and radio. A third one was the page of an education quarterly.

While the intrusion of Baidu was shortlived, the backlash grew yesterday afternoon. On a Baidu bulletin board, some internet users called upon fellow "netizens" to join them in hitting back.

"We have organised an Anti-Iran Special Action Group," said one posting.

It linked to a group on QQ, China's most popular instant messaging service.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
FT.com / UK - Cyberwar breaks out as Iranians hack into Chinese search engine (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0ed1d424-ffe2-11de-ad8c-00144feabdc0.html)

snowhole
13 Jan 10,, 07:29
百度主页被黑11小时 黑客反击多家伊朗网站被黑-搜狐新闻 (http://news.sohu.com/20100113/n269551556.shtml)


  伊驻华参赞:尚未确认是否伊朗网军所为

  目前我们使馆和政府都还没有确认是否伊朗网军干的。伊朗驻华使馆新闻参赞扎阿伊上午告诉本报记者, 伊朗网军是一个民间黑客组织,不代表伊朗政府。

  扎阿伊说,伊朗政府一贯对于黑客攻击网站的事件予以谴责,并且伊朗政府网站也曾被伊朗网 军黑过。

  但我认为百度这个事件不像是伊朗人黑的!扎阿伊才来北京2周就听说有这种事情,感到很气愤,伊朗 现在和西方关系紧张,很可能是西方人干的,却污蔑伊朗人,目的就是要破坏伊朗人在中国人心目中 的形象。

  他表示,伊朗一直很重视和中国的友好关系,这样做很可能就是挑拨离间,希望中国人民相信伊朗政府的诚意 和中伊间的友谊,不要受到这件事的影响。

Iran's official reply from an diplomacy officer in the country's embassy in Beijing:

They haven't determined if these attacks (on Baidu.com) were done by Iranian Cyber Army. The Iranian Cyber Army is a civilian hacker organization not related to the government. The officer says the Iranian Government always condemns hacking and some government websites have also been hacked by the Iranian Cyber Army before. But he doubts that Baidu.com was intruded by the ICA in this event for the good diplomatic tie between Iran and China. He suggested it be highly possible that some westerners did this and imputed it to the Iranians.

diablo49
13 Jan 10,, 15:54
*head on desk* again with the blaming of foreigners!!

Rumrunner
13 Jan 10,, 19:08
"Please tell your so-called Iranian Cyber Army: Don't intrusion chinese website about The United States authorities to intervene the internal affairs of Iran's response. This is a warning!"

Huh?

Dreadnought
13 Jan 10,, 19:31
*head on desk* again with the blaming of foreigners!!

*If the people are dumb enough to believe it..........then they are also dumb enough to remain under that regime forever.;)