Chinese hackers target US websites post-Bush-Dalai Lama meeting

November 14th, 2007 - 2:30 am ICT by admin  
Analysts at Search Engine Roundtable, a website focusing on internet searching, were quoted by The Telegraph as saying that those attempting to use the search engines on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft websites were being sent on to a Chinese equivalent called Baidu.

Access to other popular American websites, including YouTube was also blocked.

There was speculation that the motive behind the “hijacking” might be retaliation against the United States for the warm welcome it showed the Dalai Lama.

On Wednesday, Bush called for an end to “religious repression” in China as he defiantly became the first US president to appear in public with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama accepted the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honour awarded by the US, in a formal ceremony in Washington that served to further infuriate Beijing.

“It seems like China is fed up with the US, so as a way to fight back they redirected virtually all search traffic from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to Baidu, the Chinese based search engine,” said a statement by Search Engine Roundtable.

The authors said it was not clear exactly how or why the searches were being redirected, but China is known for tightly controlling the internet and using a variety of filters to screen out search results for issues relating to dissidents or the Dalai Lama.

On Thursday Beijing lodged an official protest over the congressional award, summoning the US ambassador to the foreign ministry.

US officials recently complained of repeated attempts by Chinese hackers to access and disrupt Pentagon and US government websites.

Last month, reports were circulating across the globe about Chinese hackers corrupting computerized information file systems in key departments in Germany, France, Australia and Britain.

China has denied that its army was involved in international computer espionage.

The Times, The Independent and The Financial Times newspapers in London said that Chinese computer hackers had infiltrated British government networks, drawn up a plan to disable the US battle carrier fleet through a cyber attack and acquired top secret information out of computers in the German Chancellery and three German ministries.

According to these two papers, Beijing is planning to establish “electronic dominance” over its global rivals by 2050, particularly the United States, Britain, Russia and South Korea.

The Pentagon said the attacks were coming from “states and non-state-owned organisations.” (ANI)

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