Round 3 of Anonymous hack of China site uses image of Taiwan president

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The decentralized international hacktivist group Anonymous early on Saturday (Oct. 2) posted the third round of its defacement of a Chinese government tourism promotion website, including Taiwan’s national emblem, “Tank Man,” and Winnie the Pooh.

On Thursday (Sept. 30), Reddit user “Allez-opi_omi” uploaded links to 10 pages Anonymous created on a website for the China Cultural Center. Early Friday morning at 12:01 a.m., the Anonymous representative posted “Round 2” with eight more links to content dumped onto the Chinese government platform.

Chiang Ching-kuo. (Anonymous image)

According to Allez-opi_omi, the pages have been uploaded to a backend server with the URL ccc.cice.org.cn. Anonymous told Taiwan News that it exploited exposed default password credentials to hack the server and upload the rogue files.

After three days of unwittingly hosting hacked content, the administrators of the website finally managed to delete it. With this eventuality in mind, Anonymous backed up the content on the Web Archive, where all the links can still be accessed.

Lee Teng-hui. (Anonymous image)

By Saturday (Oct. 2), the group posted its third and most ambitious round of mischievous content. This wave of rogue items included images of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), the founder of the Republic of China, who is revered in both China and Taiwan.

Next, were several leaders who are reviled in China, including Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), Yen Chia-kan (嚴家淦), Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), and Chen Sui-bian (陳水扁). Oddly, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was listed next, despite the fact that he is favored by Beijing for his conciliatory stance toward the communist country.

Chen Sui-bian. (Anonymous image)

Eighth on the list is President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has been the focus of constant political, economic, and military pressure over the past five years. Since Tsai refused to acknowledge the so-called 1992 Consensus when she first came to office in 2016, China has been seeking to punish Taiwan by excluding it from international organizations, stealing away diplomatic allies, and intimidating government bodies, corporations, and universities into de-listing Taiwan as a country.

The next link is an audio file that plays the song “Go and Reclaim the Mainland” (反攻大陸去), which is an anti-communist song that was written after the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan. The song referred to a scuttled plan to retake China and was meant to build morale among Chinese evacuees living in Taiwan.

The 10th item on the list is a meme that states that “If Taiwan wants to truly become Numbah Wan, it must first redress the 1987 Lieyu Massacre. A non-sequitur meme that reads “The soul of Afghanistan shall live long and prosper” appears as the 11th image.

(Anonymous image)

A meme that takes a swipe at Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping’s (習近平) handling of the pandemic appears 12th on the list. The text on the meme reads, “All homies coming at CCP because of how Pooh mismanaged the COVID.”

The 13th link opens on a message delivered by former President John F. Kennedy to the Chinese-American Businessmen’s Committee Meeting in Chicago in 1960. The message described the communist regime in Beijing as “the totalitarian government which temporarily rules the Chinese mainland” and affirmed U.S. opposition to China’s admission to the United Nations.

(Anonymous image)

Another meme pokes fun at the Marxist-Leninist subreddit Genzedong and the vexed reaction of members to the hack. The 15th item is a 255-page U.S. patent application published in 2014 for anti-pathogen treatments and authored by an inventor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The last link is a post by Anonymous and states, “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect Us.” It then closes by announcing, “The Internet Hate Machine hates (and will always hate) fascists and rapists.”

Tsai Ing-wen. (Anonymous image)

Anonymous posts Taiwan flag, national anthem on China government site

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The decentralized international hacktivist group Anonymous has hacked into a Chinese government tourism promotion website, where it uploaded Taiwan’s national anthem, flag, and pro-Taiwan independence banner, among other items.

On Thursday (Sept. 30), Reddit user “Allez-opi_omi,” who in July posted a previous hack by Anonymous on an official Chinese website, uploaded links to 10 pages the group created on a website for the China Cultural Center. The title of the social media post was, “Anonymous hacking group inserts Taiwanese national anthem into a Chinese governmental tourism promotion website!”

Anonymous logo as it appeared on hacked page. (Anonymous image)

The first link displays the telltale emblem for Anonymous, a black suit and a question mark. The second link launches an audio file that plays Taiwan’s national anthem.

The third link displays Taiwan’s national flag, while the fourth shows the pro-Taiwan independence banner. Fifth is a meme from December last year, which shows the head of China’s CCP Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) imposed on the body of an Apple executive introducing the COVID-19, COVID-19 R, COVID-19 Pro, and COVID-19 Pro Max, instead of the latest iPhone 13 models.

Pro-Taiwan independence flag. (Anonymous image)

Sixth is a meme mocking Rob Monster, CEO of Epik, a domain registration site that hosts far-right, neo-Nazi, and other extremist content. This is followed by a photo of Li Wenliang (李文亮), the ophthalmologist in Wuhan who first warned of the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

The eighth is another meme that calls on people to fight the coronavirus like Bruce Lee. Second to last is a meandering manifesto that the website had been hacked after a printer had been exposed on the Shodan search engine.

Meme showing Xi Jinping introducing latest COVID-19 models. (Anonymous image)

The authors of the manifesto claim to represent Anonymous Malaysia and then go on to accuse an “Instagram/TikTok influencer” of being a “serial rapist.” However, Allez-opi_omi told Taiwan News that the main Anonymous group was behind the defacement, while Anonymous Malaysia was only responsible for creating the document about the influencer.

The last link leads to a cryptic meme that reads, “Things are about to get moar snippy!”

Defense & National Security — Chinese aggression ramps up

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It’s Friday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

China on Friday sent 25 military aircraft into Taiwan’s airspace, in the latest show of force toward the self-ruled island.

We’ll break down why its significant, similar moves China has made this past year and how the U.S. military is handling it.

For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Write to me with tips: emitchell@thehill.com.

Let’s get to it.

Taiwan jets scramble as 25 Chinese aircraft enter airspace

More than two dozen Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwanese airspace on Friday in the latest show of force toward the self-ruled island.

What did they send? China sent 18 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers, four Su-30 fighters and an anti-submarine aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense zone, forcing Taiwan to deploy its planes to warn Beijing away. Taiwan also deployed its missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft, Taipei’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Context: The aggressive move, which came on China’s National Day, follows a number of similar flights and military drills held by Beijing, which claims Taiwan is part of its territory and has ramped up its rhetoric toward the island since the start of the year.

Past grievances: China in January warned that “‘Taiwan independence’ means war.”

Then in August, the U.S. government, which maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, approved a $750 million artillery system package for the island, heightening tensions with Beijing.

Most recently, Beijing on Sept. 23 flew 19 planes near Taiwan in the morning and five more in the afternoon.

US talks don’t seem to deter: Earlier this week, U.S. and Chinese defense officials held two days of talks amid strained relations between the two nations.

U.S.-China relations remain deeply strained over trade, technology, human rights and military activities in the South China Sea. The U.S. military periodically sends warships and planes to the region to promote freedom of navigation, but China, which has built airstrips and other military infrastructure on man-made islands in the sea, is rankled by the exercises.

ON RISING: FORMER AMB SAYS ‘HUGE THREAT OF CHINA EXPANDING TO AFRICA

Former U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback says there’s a “huge threat” to global freedom if China heightens its presence in Africa.

Brownback, who was the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom from 2018 to 2021, joined Hill.TV’s “Rising” to discuss why it’s important for the United States to help Africa recover from the coronavirus pandemic to counter China’s influence.

“There’s a huge threat,” Brownback said of a heightened Chinese presence in Africa.

Watch that here.

Biden ‘confident’ in the US cybersecurity efforts

President Biden on Friday expressed confidence in measures taken by his administration during his first months in office to secure the nation against mounting cyber threats following several major cybersecurity incidents in recent months.

Biden highlighted October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which was started under the George W. Bush administration.

“Cyber threats can affect every American, every business regardless of size, and every community,” Biden said in his statement. “That’s why my administration is marshaling a whole-of-nation effort to confront cyber threats.

Earlier: Biden on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring October Cybersecurity Awareness Month, with the proclamation pointing to recent security incidents in calling on the American public to “take action to better protect yourselves against cyber threats.”

These incidents included the SolarWinds hack, discovered just prior to Biden taking office in January, which allowed Russian government-linked hackers to compromise numerous federal agencies and more than 100 private sector groups.

The Biden administration has also been forced to grapple with a spike in ransomware attacks against critical U.S. groups, such as hospitals and schools, but most notably those against Colonial Pipeline, meat producer JBS USA, and IT group Kaseya over the summer.

Read the full story here.

WHAT WE’RE READING

That’s it for today. Check out The Hill’s defense and national security pages for the latest coverage. See you Monday.