People's Daily Online
November 19, 2009
Hackers are trying to penetrate the website of China's Ministry of
National Defense and have made more than 2 million attacks on it within
one month since the site's launch three months ago, People's Daily
The efforts are seen as a sign of the increasing vulnerability facing
China's official websites.
"Since the first day the defense ministry website went online, it has
suffered mass, uninterrupted hacker attacks," Ji Guilin, the editor in
chief of the website, told the paper in an interview.
There were more than 2.3 million cyber attacks in the first month alone,
especially in the first week, Ji said, though no damage was done to to
its operation due to intensified security measures and the back-up
systems in place.
Ji did not pinpoint the exact origins of the attacks, but he said the
hackers tried to infiltrate the website (www.mod.gov.cn) and cripple its
The Chinese military, the world's largest with 2.3 million troops, has
come under frequent accusations of hacking into the websites of foreign
governments. The Chinese government has rejected any such involvement.
In an interview last month with the International Herald Leader,
affiliated to the Xinhua News Agency, Ji said the national defense
ministry website places particular stress on security, and various
security measures were in place to choke hacker attacks.
"The website seems to be strong in its defense capabilities against
hackers," Liu Yong, a senior editor of China Security Magazine, said.
The possible motives of hackers trying to break into the website were
unclear, and the defense ministry declined to speculate.
Fang Binxing, president of Beijing Uni
versity of Posts and Telecommunications and an expert on information
security technologies, said some hackers are likely to launch attacks
from outside China for provocation purposes.
"Many are jealous of China's growing prosperity and want to embarrass
China by attacking some of its popular official websites," he said.
The ministry launched the bilingual website, in Chinese and English, on
August 20 in a bid to better promote China's national defense and
downplay the West's fears of China's military modernization drive, the
defense ministry said.
The launch came just days after the Pentagon unveiled its new website,
China's defense website contains news releases, overviews of defense
policies and profiles of leaders. It also features audio and video.
Ji said that the site's total number of page views in the first three
months of trial operations reached 1.25 billion, with up to 40 percent
of them coming from Beijing, Guangdong and Jiangsu.
Web users from the United States, Australia and Britain made up the most
hits on the English version of the website, he said, while most overseas
hits on the Chinese-language site come from the US, Australia, Singapore
Traffic on the first day reached 70 million users and the next day it
climbed to 130 million, he said.
"The website is sound in terms of structure, but it lacks in-depth and
detailed content compared with many non-governmental online forums
featuring military topics," Hou Lei, a 24-year-old military enthusiast
in Beijing, said.
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