NEWS – Cyber Attack Amongst Largest Ever As ‘Anonymous’ Declares War 3

Web performance company, Cloudflare, have said that this week’s attack on Occupy Central was “one of the largest and most persistent DDoS attacks in the history of the internet”. The flood of malicious traffic that hit the HKU-hosted PopVote website on Tuesday is comparable to the notorious ‘spamhaus‘ attack last year which Cloudflare said “nearly broke the internet”.

DDoS attack Hong Kong

Today, smaller-scale attacks continued but the site remained mostly online, logging an unprecedented 232,270 votes in the first six hours of a city-wide unofficial referendum on democracy. Permanent Hong Kong residents are being invited to vote for their preferred system for democracy over the coming days, on the internet and in-person at city-wide voting locations.

From left: Joshua Wong of student group Scholarism, Edward Chin supporter from finance sector, former Chief Secretary of HK Anson Chan & Occupy Central convenor Benny Tai

Referring to the flood of traffic Cloudfare attempted to absorb earlier this week, CEO Matthew Price said that the cyber-attack couldn’t possibly be the work of amateur ‘script kiddies‘. This means it was likely an organised and well-funded effort that, according to Price, involved a new ‘layer 7 HTTPS flood that prioritises a CPU-intensive TLSv1/DES-CBC3-SHA’. Journalists are working hard this evening to understand what in the name of Lufsig this may mean.

A press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club yesterday.

Organisers answer questions during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club yesterday.

Many defenders of cyber-warfare claim that DDoS attacks are the internet equivalent of peaceful occupations. Like a real-life ‘sit-in’, they mobilise thousands of ‘zombie’ computers to flood the the online ‘home’ of a target, such a bank or government website. Thus, ironically, those objecting to the pro-democracy occupation plan have attempted to oppose it using similar, albeit virtual, methodology.

Additionally, the publicity that surrounded their efforts has no doubt motivated more Hong Kongers to vote today in a show of resistance.

Via Occupy Central Hong Kong

Via Occupy Central Facebook

Meanwhile, ‘Anonymous HK’ have leapt to the defence of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp by declaring war on the cyber-attackers. In a clip uploaded on Tuesday, they claim to have traced the attack to Hong Kong’s Chinese University and areas of the mainland. The video, published by the unidentified group on YouTube, has received almost 45,000 views this week.

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  • > ‘layer 7 HTTPS flood that prioritises a CPU-intensive TLSv1/DES-CBC3-SHA’

    That just means that the flood is not just requesting a web-page, it’s attempting to make a secure request using Transport Layer Security (TLS). This involves comparing cryptographic keys generated using the method known as DES-CBC3-SHA.

    > …they claim to have traced the attack to Hong Kong’s Chinese University and areas of the mainland.

    Chinese University hosts the HKIX which routes most local internet traffic (, so it’s hardly a surprise that a DDOS is going through that.

    • Tom

      Thank you for this!

  • Eddy Chua

    Zionist Edward Chin, Hands Off HK. You’ve Zero Chance Of Becoming 2017 HK Chief Executive!