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Hacker attack on Boxun website crashes 2,000 blogs

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is outraged by a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the US-based Chinese news website Boxun that was probably organised by hackers based in China.

Some 2,000 blogs hosted on the site are down. Boxun editor Wei Shi told RSF: "We have never before experienced such a DDOS attack, which consists of bombarding the site with an almost infinite number of connection requests. Our http://www.boxun.com/blog platform crashed on 24 December 2007. We are not even sure if we will be able to recover all the data and we will have to find a new server."

This is not the first time Boxun has been hacked. An attack in August led to the suspension of about 10 US-based Chinese dissident sites. Hacker attacks on dissident Huang Qi?s site, http://www.64tianwang.com , forced it to close in July. Journalists and dissidents who write for Boxun from China seem to be particularly targeted.

Sun Lin, who sent Boxun video reports under the name of Jie Mu, was arrested on 30 May in the eastern city of Nanjing after criticising abuse of authority. Huang Jinqiu, another regular Boxun correspondent was sentenced on 27 September 2004 to 12 years in prison for "subverting state authority." He was arrested in Lianyungang, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, in 2003.

Li Changqing, who also wrote articles for Boxun, was sentenced to three years in prison by a court in the city of Fuzhou, in the southeastern province of Fujian, for spreading "alarmist reports." Cyber-dissident and blogger He Weihua was forcibly confined to a psychiatric hospital in the southern province of Hunan in August. His family said it was because of what he had posted on his Boxun blog, http://www.boxun.com/hero/hewh/.

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