WordPress back up after attacks originating in China

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The Independent Tech

Blog publishing platform WordPress was running normally on Sunday after suffering cyber attacks suspected to have originated in China.

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg told TechCrunch, a leading Silicon Valley technology blog powered by WordPress, that the first distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks began on Thursday and continued into Friday.

In a typical DDoS attack, a large number of computers are commanded to simultaneously visit a website, overwhelming its servers, slowing service or knocking it offline completely.

WordPress, which powers millions of websites, said it had been hit by an "extremely large" DDoS attack "affecting connectivity in some cases."

Mullenweg told TechCrunch that 98 percent of the attacks over the two-day period originated in China and they were likely "politically motivated."

He said one of the targeted sites was a Chinese-language site operating on WordPress which also appears to be blocked on Chinese search engine Baidu. He did not identify the site.

Hackers operating from China have been frequently accused of carrying cyber attacks including a widely publicized penetration of Google computers in 2009 which led the Internet giant to halt censorship of its search engine in China.

Google said the cyberattacks originating in China included attempts to access the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists around the world.

US computer firm McAfee said last month that hackers from China have also infiltrated computer networks of global oil companies, stealing financial documents on bidding plans and other confidential information.

According to US diplomatic files obtained and published by WikiLeaks, the United States believes that China's leadership has directed hacking campaigns into computers of Google and Western governments.

In one cable, the US embassy in Beijing said it learned from "a Chinese contact" that the Politburo had led years of hacking into computers of the United States, its allies and Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

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