Hackers calling themselves the "Iranian Cyber Army" paralysed China's biggest search engine this morning, sparking a bizarre online battle as Chinese hackers apparently retaliated by targeting Iranian sites.
Last month the group attacked Twitter, which has been used by Iranian opposition supporters. But Beijing and Tehran are allies and it was not immediately obvious why hackers targeted Baidu, which commands over 60% of the search market in China.
Some Chinese internet users speculated that it might be in retaliation against Chinese Twitter users who have used a #CN4Iran hashtag to express their support for reformists. Although Twitter is blocked in China, it is used by several thousand people there through proxies or virtual private networks (VPN).
"It's the same warning showed to twitter.com â€¦ but I'm not very sure how you would connect this to #CN4Iran. Baidu is a very weird choice," said Michael Anti, an influential Chinese blogger.
Hopefully this will keep them busy long enough that the US security bureaus can patch their holes to keep them out of their servers.
Edited by Richenbals - 1/12/10 at 11:09am