China pulls online documentary showing cyberattacks against U.S.

Tina Nguyen Contributor
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A Chinese military documentary depicting a cyberattack against an American university was apparently removed from Chinese websites late last week. Visitors to the state-run CCTV website looking for the military documentary, which aired last July, now see a message saying “this page does not exist anymore.”

Last week The Epoch Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Falun Gong dissident movement, broke a story about this documentary.  The computer program used in this film appears to be used to attack Falun Gong-affiliated websites.

Though the documentary is still available on Youtube, the Chinese government’s official position remains that it doesn’t engage in cyberattacks against the United States. In a statement to the Washington Post, a Chinese official claims the scene in question was the fabricated product of an overzealous TV producer.

Furthermore, “the content and opinion of the program do not represent the policy and stance of the government,” flatly stated the representative from the Chinese defense ministry, despite the fact that the state-funded documentary aired on state television. “China has always attached importance to Internet security, and firmly oppose to any form of Internet criminal activities.”

The scene in question showed military software allowing a user to attack Falun Gong-related websites. The six-second clip showed an unseen user choosing to attack a website whose IP address placed it at the University of Alabama.

China has staunchly maintained that it does not engage in cyber-warfare against the United States, and even claims to have been the victim of US cyber-aggression. But a growing pile of evidence hints at significant Chinese-based offensives against American networks, both public and private.

The recent revelation of a five-year coordinated attack against international organizations and governments, which the virus-protection software company McAfee dubbed “Shady RAT,” strongly suggested that Chinese groups are hacking into secure networks and mapping enormous amounts of supposedly secure data.