The Chinese government has reportedly had it with American websites and apps that crack through the censorship infrastructure. The country has now created new technology called “Great Cannon,” which has the capability to eliminate loopholes created outside of China. The country’s main concern, though, is the United States.
Over the years, China has made attempts to completely shut out influence of American culture and technology in the country. In doing this, the government hired tech companies to create Chinese social media sites in place of American sites like Twitter and Facebook. But these simple alternatives websites are no comparison to China’s ultimate keep out shield: The Great Firewall. Named after the Great Wall of China which was built to keep enemies from entering the country in previous centuries, the Great Firewall is designed to hold off intruders in the digital age.
On Friday, a report revealed that China’s new Great Cannon was at large with the ability to actually intercept web traffic from abroad, according to the NY Times. The string-pullers of the new system are reportedly based in Beijing, where they infiltrate outsiders by using the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. Though the task may seem simple, the Citizen Lab report shows that the actions of both the Great Wall and Great Cannon systems work together to create a bulletproof cyber structure.
It has been discovered that the Great Cannon retrieves the data from Baidu, a popular Chinese search engine. It also sneaks through the back doors of programming sites like GitHub and GreatFire and unleashes its “cannon” on the outside target. As fascinating as it all sounds, researchers believe that the Great Cannon is more than just a cyber gun.
It is believed that the Great Cannon is also a surveillance tool, with capabilities of spying on internet browsers within the country and in foreign lands.
“The operational deployment of the Great Cannon represents a significant escalation in state-level information control,” the researchers said in their report. It is, they said, “the normalization of widespread and public use of an attack tool to enforce censorship.”
Such information may allow the United States a level of reassurance in their decision to block Intel from selling Superchips to China recently. For China, the Great Cannon is more than just a defense tool. The country has recently revealed its plans to export Chinese cultural influence worldwide. Soon, China could be using the same technology that they have blocked America out with, to creep its way into the West.
[Images via WorldAtlas and Citizen Lab]