Anti-Censorship Service Greatfire Is Under Attack

Greatfire, a service that monitors blocked websites in China, is suffering from a DDOS attack that is sending 2.6 billion requests per hour to its servers – a 2500% increase in traffic – with the aim of destroying the business.

The company is currently seeing $30,000 in bandwidth fees per day and but is hoping for amnesty from Amazon who hosts its data. NGO’s use the service to unblock various news sources around the world including The Tibet Post and the site is the primary source for information on blocked keywords in China. They blame the attacks on interest in a recent WSJ article about Chinese censorship.

The admins write:

We don’t know who is behind this attack. However, the attack coincides with increased pressure on our organization over the last few months. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) publicly called us “an anti-China website set up by an overseas anti-China organization”. We also know that CAC has put pressure on our IT partners to stop working with us. Recently, we noticed that somebody was trying to impersonate us to intercept our encrypted email.

The Great Firewall is a pernicious system that will block or throttle various websites depending on political content. While many customers can route around the damage by roaming over cellular or using VPNs, the Chinese rank and file often find themselves in an Internet of the Party’s making. Services like Greatfire are non-profit and aim to help the network exploit cracks in China’s cyberarmor.

The company is asking for help via Twitter so if you’re good at stopping DDOSes, these guys need some help.