An activist group that monitors Chinese web blocks has suffered a sustained distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that has seen its server costs soar to $30,000 a day.
Censorship watchdog GreatFire.org's mission is to bring an end to Chinese censorship of the web, something it helps accomplish by mirroring sites, such as Google and Facebook, that are otherwise blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
By hosting the mirrors on content distribution networks (CDNs) that use the same hosting services that many legitimate Chinese sites rely on, such as Amazon Web Services, the group's strategy has worked up until now as the only effective response from the authorities would most likely also take out Chinese businesses.
In fact the strategy has been so successful that GreatFire previously told Google that it could help the company take down all Chinese censorship within 10 days.
Now, however, the group has experienced its first ever denial of service attack, receiving 2500 times more traffic than normal, prompting Greatfire admin and co-founder Charlie Smith to say:
This kind of attack is aggressive and is an exhibition of censorship by brute force. Attackers resort to tactics like this when they are left with no other options.