China Behind Sustained DDoS Attack Against GitHub: Researchers

DDoS attack reportedly targeting Chinese anti-censorship projects

Nicole Henderson, Contributor

March 30, 2015

2 Min Read
Red flags flutter in the wind near the Chinese national emblem outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.
Red flags flutter in the wind near the Chinese national emblem outside the Great Hall of the People in BeijingFeng Li/Getty Images



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

Code repository Github is still battling against a DDoS attack that began on Thursday that the company is calling the largest DDoS attack in its history. According to several reports, the attack appears to originate from China.

According to a blog post by GitHub on Friday: “the attack began around 2AM UTC on Thursday, March 26, and involves a wide combination of attack vectors. These include every vector we’ve seen in previous attacks as well as some sophisticated new techniques that use the web browsers of unsuspecting, uninvolved people to flood with high levels of traffic.”

According to a report on Monday by Ars Technica, the DDoS is specifically targeting two GitHub projects that are anti-censorship in China: GreatFire and a Chinese language version of the New York Times.

GitHub said that based on reports it has received the attack is intended to remove a specific class of content. As of 11:18 am, Github said that all systems are reporting at 100 percent.

Security researchers at Insight Labs said the DDoS is being caused by some malicious JavaScript code that is being injected by a “device at the border of China’s inner network and the Internet” when people visit China’s Baidu search engine, according to Ars.

GitHub kept users updated on its DDoS mitigation efforts and progress via its status Twitter account. An update around seven hours ago said that the DDoS attack had evolved and it is working to mitigate.

Baidu has denied the attack, assuring that it has “ruled out the possibility of security problems or hacker attacks on [its] own products,” the company said in a statement.

The DDos attack against GitHub comes after mirror sites were hit by a sustained DDoS attack following an article published by the Wall Street Journal that described how anti-censorship groups use US cloud computing services to circumvent blocking by Chinese authorities. The attack was delivering up to 2.6 billion requests per hour at its peak.

This story originally ran at

About the Author(s)

Nicole Henderson

Contributor, IT Pro Today

Nicole Henderson covers daily cloud news and features online for ITPro Today. Prior to ITPro Today, she was editor at Talkin' Cloud (now Channel Futures) and the WHIR. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto.

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