China's state television network has removed from its public website a video that security researchers and military analysts say shows proof China's military has engaged in online attacks against US networks.
As noted in previous Boing Boing posts, the clip was from a CCTV 7 show titled "Military Science and Technology," specifically a cyberwarfare-themed episode that aired on July 17: "The Internet Storm is Coming." A mirror archive of the series is here.
Western analysts this week began publicly scrutinizing a sequence that a narrator on the show says shows "many Internet attack methods." There is then a demonstration of one method: on the screen, what appears to be a human-operated cursor chooses a target Web site address, then hits a button that says "attack."
Using a software application on screen, the cursor chooses a target Web site under a pull-down menu for "Falun Gong Web sites in North America." Falun Gong is a spiritual group that underwent persecution in the late 1990's in China and is now outlawed in the country.
In the CCTV show, the cursor selects an IP address of 188.8.131.52 as a target. It is a defunct IP address at the University of Alabama. But a screenshot of the page linked to that address that was archived on the Internet in 2000, shows an informational page associated with the Falun Gong. It is unclear who set up the page.
Military analysts Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins at China SignPost say it's not clear whether the b-roll in question was a demo or an actual attack–the software is at least a decade old.
Either way, they wrote:
[It] is significant that an official Chinese state television channel showed even a symbolic representation of a cyberattack, particularly one on entities clearly located in a foreign sovereign nation.
More around the web:
• F-secure has an animated GIF of the relevant video segments, with translation and analysis.