China’s Great Cannon

Toronto’s Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs posits in an online report that, separate and apart from China’s “Great Firewall”, China possesses a “Great Cannon” offensive cyberattack tool which hijacks traffic to (or from) IP addresses, and which can replace unencrypted content as a man-in-the-middle. According to the report:

“The operational deployment of the Great Cannon represents a significant escalation in state-level information control: the normalization of widespread use of an attack tool to enforce censorship by weaponizing users. Specifically, the Cannon manipulates the traffic of bystander’ systems outside China, silently programming their browsers to create a massive DDoS attack. While employed for a highly visible attack in this case, the Great Cannon clearly has the capability for use in a manner similar to the NSA’s QUANTUM system, affording China the opportunity to deliver exploits targeting any foreign computer that communicates with any China-based website not fully utilizing HTTPS.”