The China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC - the acronym it prefers) is the government body responsible for Chinese domain names. It has published sketchy details of a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack on the weekend.
“On Sunday 25 August at around midnight there were DNS denial of service attacks until 2am. The service was restored to normal early in the morning, by 4am. It was the biggest ever denial of service attack with slow or interrupted access to many .cn websites. National domain name resolution services have been gradually restored.”
The report says China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has launched ‘Domain Name System security specific contingency plans’ for the protection of national domain name resolution services.
CNNIC apologised to users and condemned the attack. “CNNIC will work with the sector to continue to enhance the service capabilities."
There is no indication where the attacks may have originated, but it is likely they are home grown. China has the largest number of Internet users in the world, but much of its Internet infrastructure is weak.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Matthew Price, of Internet performance monitoring company Cloudflare, as saying that his company observed a one third drop in traffic for .cn domains during the attack.
“I don’t know how big the ‘pipes’ of .cn are, but it is not necessarily correct to infer that the attacker in this case had a significant amount of technical sophistication or resources,” Prince told the WSJ. “It may have well have been a single individual.”