Today, I read an news article about China’s new censorship weapon that can cripple your website in Quartz’s news website. I am actually not surprised China has developed this attack tool not only to enforce censorship, but for them to have the capability to infect millions of computers just like the NSA was only a matter of time. Edward Snowden not long ago reveled to us proof that the National Security Agency was dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems. (Click here to read more)

 

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This tool can hijack traffic to individual IP addresses, and can arbitrarily replace unencrypted content as a man-in-the-middle.

Source: https://citizenlab.org/2015/04/chinas-great-cannon/

 

This is what worries me about the development of these weapons such as these:

Since the GC operates as a full man-in-the-middle, it would also be straightforward to have it intercept unencrypted email to or from a target IP address and undetectably replace any legitimate attachments with malicious payloads, manipulating email sent from China to outside destinations.  Even email transmission protected by standard encryption (STARTTLS) can be undermined because the GC is in a position to launch a “downgrade” attack, steering the transmission to only use legacy, unencrypted communication.

Our findings in China add another documented case to at least two other known instances of governments tampering with unencrypted Internet traffic to control information or launch attacks — the other two being the use of QUANTUM by the US NSA and UK’s GCHQ.  In addition, product literature from two companies, FinFisher and Hacking Team, indicate that they sell similar “attack from the Internet” tools to governments around the world.57  These latest findings emphasize the urgency of replacing legacy web protocols, like HTTP, with their cryptographically strong versions, like HTTPS.

Encryption Matters

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