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Commission Warns of China's Rerouting of US Web Traffic

Commission Warns of China's Rerouting of US Web Traffic - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Commission Warns of China's Rerouting of US Web Traffic - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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A new report submitted to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission expresses concerns over China’s alleged ability to control and manipulate Internet traffic, Computerworld reports.

The report highlights two incidents earlier this year, where actions taken inside China directly impacted web traffic in the United States and in other other countries. In one of the incidents, traffic to and from about 15 percent of all Internet destinations was routed through servers belonging to China Telecom, a government-owned telecommunications company.

The rerouting, which occurred April 8, affected U.S. government and military networks, as well as commercial sites such as Microsoft, Dell and Yahoo.

The commission said it is unclear if Chinese telecom companies did anything with the hijacked data. However,  the kind of access Chinese authorities had to the data could enable surveillance of specific users or sites, disrupt transactions, prevent a user from establishing connections to specific sites or divert them to spoofed sites, the report said.

The second incident involved an attempt by Chinese authorities to block users inside China from accessing certain sites. Because of a network error, users in the U.S. and Chile also found themselves unable to access those sites, and were directed to incorrect servers.

Although there is little evidence that either incident was planned or deliberate, the incidents indicate that China and other countries have the capability to do so, if they wanted.

“Although China is by no means alone in this regard, persistent reports of that nation’s use of malicious computer activities raise questions about whether China might seek intentionally to leverage these abilities to assert some level of control over the Internet, even for a brief period,” the report noted.

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