China blames internet disruption on malware hack attack

A Chinese state-run newspaper has claimed that an overseas malware attack was responsible for the country’s internet problems which blocked users from accessing several foreign websites earlier this week.

Users took to social media to report that they were being redirected to different websites when trying to access, among others, cnn.com and news portal yahoo.co.jp.

Citing an agency that monitors internet safety in China called the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Centre, newspaper China Daily said: “Experts said it will be difficult to trace the source of the attack because it is technically possible to carry it out by remotely controlling the servers.”

“No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack,” it said. A senior staff member at the centre told the newspaper that it was not currently possible to estimate the damage caused.

“It was a rather strange case because the hackers were directly targeting the telecom carriers’ servers. It has rarely happened before,” the unidentified official said. Developers from wpkg.org had said they were unsure why traffic from inside China was being redirected to their site.”

This is not the first time access to the internet has been an issue in China, with the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter all being unusable in the country thanks to strict censorship governance.