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Twitter Hackers Take Down Baidu 70

snydeq writes "The group that took down Twitter last month has apparently claimed another victim: China's largest search engine Baidu.com. Offline late Monday, Baidu.com at one point displayed an image saying 'This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army,' according to a report in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party and other Web sites. The Iranian Cyber Army first gained notoriety with its Dec. 18 Twitter attack. Baidu's domain name records were the focus of the hack. On Monday, the company was using domain name servers belonging to HostGator, a Florida ISP, instead of the Baidu.com nameservers the company normally uses."
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Twitter Hackers Take Down Baidu

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:54PM (#30743314) Journal
    (AP) SHANGHAI - While the Iranian Cyber Army stymied Baidu engineers early Tuesday morning, a Chinese government official reportedly praised the Iranian Cyber Army and it's successful attempts at further curbing the dangers away from Chinese citizens. After forcing Baidu to remove the ability to find porn or dissidant materials via searches, the Chinese government noted that the Iranian Cyber Army had finally successfully achieved that with absolutely no infractions.

    Cai Wu of The Ministry of Culture in China said, "We are impressed with preliminary reports of zero searches returning offensive materials while the Iranian Cyber Army improved the search page." Wu also pointed out that nowhere in the Tao Te Ching is a reference to Baidu made and therefore it is one of the major factors in China losing its sense of nationality and pride. Wu held up an image of Laozi [wikimedia.org] and said, "Does this happy citizen look like he needed Baidu? No. All he needed was his government's ability to protect him from himself." Wu's only criticism of the 'attack' was simply that he expressed lament "it was not a group of loyal Chinese citizens who made children friendly adjustments to the search engine." Wu showed that the static page replacing the search page loaded on average 33% faster and required no user interaction to facilitate.

    The Chinese government and the Iranian government have exchanged notes on how to keep their people from finding materials and lies that erode their ability to protect the cultures and citizens of their respective countries. But with the recent cross country attacks, it appears as though a group in Iran has one-upped the Chinese and shown them the beautiful results of hacking in comparison to the oafish and ugly heavy handed government shutdowns. This means, of course, that a stark internet censorship gap exists widely between the US and China. And other world powers trail far behind Iran and China -- shining examples of the firm yet gentle hand of internet censorship. Rest assured, this reporter has an inkling that a nationalistic competition could take hold similar to the space race or peace race. If there's one sport the winter Olympics might add next, certainly it's the sport of suppressing information.

    China is not sitting idly by though, as strategic and selective abortions have left 24 million men without mates [yahoo.com]. The Chinese government believes this strategy will put them in solid first for socially awkward sexually frustrated males that must argue on internet forums while coding day and night taking breaks only for World of Warcraft (the most demanding mistress of them all). An army of hackers angry at everyone else will undoubtedly arise form this group willing to stop the flow of information worldwide.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)


      "Sex-specific abortions remained extremely commonplace, especially in rural areas," where the cultural preference for boys over girls is strongest, the study said, while noting the reasons for the gender imbalance were "complex."

      One particularly ugly consequence that the articles does not mention is this: [factsanddetails.com]

      In some places men are marrying their first cousins and even their sisters through deals made with relatives because that is only way they can find a wife. The practice is so common that some communi

      • by jhoegl ( 638955 )
        Yeah this sucks.... if only they valued women over men there would be more sexy parties goin on.
      • by Knara ( 9377 )

        Marrying first cousins, at least, was commonplace throughout history. Turns out that the rate of birth defects due to having offspring with your first cousin is very low.

        Sisters, not so common. I can see it happening in extreme situations, though.

        • Sisters, not so common. I can see it happening in extreme situations, though.

          I can picture the sisters in my head. They are definitely trying but alas no baby.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:11PM (#30743536) Journal

      Chortle. (Don't see why this was modded "interesting" rather than "funny".)

      But seriously:

      I'm wondering how long it would take for the Chinese authorities to notice if a similar hijack took the searchers to a site that LOOKED like the real one but:
        - gave them uncensored search results
        - with the links that would be blocked by the Great Firewall redirected through unblocked proxies.

      Obviously launching this from anywhere INSIDE China would make the perpetrator a likely candidate for involuntary organ donation. But can you imagine the trial of someone from OUTSIDE China who was caught after perpetrating such a thing? THAT might set some interesting precedents.

      • The authorities might take a while to notice; but the site operator would notice the drop in load pretty quickly. From there, for business reasons and out of desire to not upset the powers that be and join a blocklist later, the operator would presumably take corrective action as soon as they could. The state doesn't have to watch everything if it can make watching the rest align with the interests of private parties.
        • ... the site operator would notice the drop in load pretty quickly.

          Not if the fake site made the equivalent query to the real site. (It could even forward the ads so the real site wouldn't lose revenue - unless the real site's software decided that the ads were mostly going to a small number of IP addresses and didn't count them as unique views.)

          If it were done that way the only way the site operator would know anything was wrong is if he noticed the change in IP address distribution on the queries - or ha

      • THAT might set some interesting precedents.

        Naaah [slashdot.org]... Just another knockoff of western ideas..

      • (Don't see why this was modded "interesting" rather than "funny".)

        Because it is interesting, and not even to mention that a lot of humour is interesting just on the basis of why we find it funny.

    • but, Does this happy Laozi look like he needed Baidu?
    • Dude, I applaud your effort and wish to give you all my funny mod imaginary points (which I have 15 left)
      so think of yourself as a +15 Funny man.

      PS- on a serious note, I really feel disgusted by the link you sent about the gender selective abortions, I had never heard of that, thank you for that link, it makes me more aware of the oppression over there!

  • Iran VS China in an contest to out censor each other?

    Whoever wins, we loose!

  • !Florida, Texas. (Score:5, Informative)

    by uncledrax ( 112438 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:00PM (#30743390) Homepage

    For the sake of accuracy:
    Hostgator moved from to Houston over 3 years ago. [bizjournals.com].

    I dunno who Robert McMillan is.. but he needs to do a tiny bit updating his fact-checking database.

  • by tixxit ( 1107127 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:02PM (#30743420)
    When I was in high school, I'd read something like this and the first thing that would pop into my head would be: "cool!" Now the first thing that comes up is: "what a bunch of assholes." Has hacking* finally lost its mystique? I just see these guys as a bunch of idiots who enjoy defacing property and crave attention (ie. vandals). * If the pejorative use of the term offends you, just pretend I used some other word that is more suiting
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:22PM (#30743668) Homepage Journal

    It looks like their domain account credentials may have been snagged

    Thats a bit embarrassing for a major search engine. What was their password? baidu123?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      Some snarky admin had changed the password to "tiananmen," but since the Great Firewall censored that out, their account was actually left with a blank password...

    • That's amazing! I have the same combination on my luggage! ...too soon?
    • by jo42 ( 227475 )

      Makes one question why China's largest search engine isn't large enough to run their own DNS servers.

      I'm one person and run my own DNS server...

      • I am sure they control their own DNS servers one way or another. This attack clearly changed the setup of their domain name at register.com to delegate it to different domain name servers. Normally you do that through an SSL connection so I assume that they got hit by a dictionary attack, possibly assisted by a loose lipped employee "All my passwords are characters from Toy Story" or some such.

  • Its not the "Iranian Cyber Army", it is the "Cyber Army of Iran" [youtube.com]!
  • by zullnero ( 833754 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @07:25PM (#30744442) Homepage
    Their security services basically for free (if you don't count the downtime). They're doing a great job exposing all those backdoors to everyone who would otherwise be fine just quietly exploiting them as often as possible to potentially do things far more nefarious.
  • Iranian Cyber Army, eh? Hacking a Chinese web site?

    Looks like Mousavi's boys [youtube.com].

  • I understand Slashdot has lowered its standards, but such a post is embarassing. Twitter wasn't taken down. It was a case of local DNS servers poisoning. Bit of a difference.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about, 'The attack rendered Twitter and it's API inaccessible via standard means for several hours.'

  • Where can I send the money?

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.