Feeds

Election poll shot down by DDoS-ers

Civic referendum hit by MILLION clicks-per-second anti-democracy types

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Two local men have been arrested after an online referendum organised by Hong Kong university to poll citizens on their choice of chief executive was disabled in an apparent denial of service attack.

Broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) reported that the men, aged 17 and 28, were arrested at the weekend after the online poll was disrupted for a large part of Friday and some of Saturday.

Hong Kong university’s Public Opinion Program set up the 'Civic Referendum Project' because people who live in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China are not given the power to vote directly for their CEO – effectively the head of the Hong Kong government.

Instead a pre-selected 1,200-strong Election Committee full of pro-Beijing businessmen is given the task, a fact that is angering a growing number of democracy-hungry locals, especially given that this year’s candidates were universally unpopular and tainted with scandal.

AFP reported that Hong Kong uni’s back-end systems buckled under the huge volume of traffic.

The system has been very busy," Robert Chung, director of the university's program, apparently told reporters. "We suspect it is under systematic attack as there are more than one million clicks on our system every second."

Chung was reportedly reticent about the potential motive for the attack but it is well known that the Chinese authorities are not a massive fan of free speech and probably viewed the referendum as undermining the result of the real vote - the outcome of which Beijing basically controls.

In any case it has always been nigh on impossible to directly link the Chinese government with specific cyber attacks, although it is widely suspected that it allows so-called patriotic hackers and even more obvious cyber criminals to commit offences as long as they are in the national interest.

A report by US defence contractor Northropp Grumman earlier this month alleged that China’s military relies on academia and the commercial IT sector to boost its R&D efforts in information warfare.

In the end only around 220,000 Hong Kong-ers were able to take part in the poll out of a population of seven million, with a majority of over 50 per cent spoiling their papers to signify that they supported ‘none of the above’ candidates.

Votes could be cast online, via SMS or a smartphone app, as well as in several polling stations in the region. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.