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  • Chinese Television Clip Reveals Cyberattack On U.S.
    Posted by David A. Fulghum 12:19 PM on Aug 24, 2011

    A television film clip purporting to show a Chinese military-launched cyberattack on a U.S-based religious sect was posted on YouTube recently.

    A veteran National Security Agency cyberwarrior who viewed the film, a documentary on the Chinese military, classified it as “very cool,” and says the slip-up, which names a Chinese military university as the source of the attack, could become an embarrassment. The clip, as of Aug. 23, could still be viewed on China’s CCTV website.

    The story was first reported by The Epoch Times news agency. A six-second segment of the clip shows the execution of a cyberattack.

    The New York-based, Epoch Times publishes in Chinese and was founded by supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual group that has been a target of the Chinese government for its criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.

    The documentary about the Chinese military was aired July 15. It demonstrates how China is involved in cyberwarfare against the Falun Gong and other targets in the U.S., say reporters Matthew Robertson and Helena Zhu. The film also praises the wisdom and judgment of Chinese military strategists, and condemned the United States as an implacable aggressor in the cyber-realm. But fleeting shots of the apparent cyberattack were included.

    “The screenshots appear as B-roll footage in the documentary for six seconds—between 11:04 and 11:10 minutes—showing custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyberattack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university,” the reporters say. “As of Aug. 22 at 1:30pm EDT, in addition to YouTube, the whole documentary is available on the CCTV website.”

    The school involved in the film clip is the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army, and the reporters contend that the clip offers direct evidence that the PLA is involved in coding cyberattack software directed against a Chinese dissident group.

    “The software window says ‘Choose Attack Target’," the reporters translated from the video. “The computer operator selects an IP address from a list — it happens to be 138.26.72.17 — and then selects a target. Encoded in the software are the words ‘Falun Gong website list,’”

    “A drop-down list of dozens of Falun Gong websites appears,” the reporters said. “The computer operator chooses Minghui.org, the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. The IP address 138.26.72.17 belongs to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), according to an online trace. The documentary then show a big ‘Attack’ button on the bottom left being pushed, before the camera cuts away.”

    Tags: ar99, cyber, China

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