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Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
US facing Chinese cyber blitz
Chinese hackers message to the US
A message reportedly used by Chinese hackers
By Duncan Hewitt in Shanghai

Computer hackers in China say they are planning a massive wave of attacks on websites based in the United States in protest at the recent collision between US and Chinese military planes which left a Chinese pilot dead.

The international cyber battle following the spy plane row has intensified in recent days, with Chinese media reporting at least 600 websites attacked.


We are obligated to strike back with utmost force after such provocation by American hackers

Honkers' Alliance
Chinese activists have targeted US organisations, including a major news agency and the country's railway regulator, the US Surface Transportation Board.

Its computer system was put out of action on Monday.

Experts say some of the attacks could be coming from hackers outside the two countries.

But a member of one of two groups of Chinese activists involved told the BBC that hackers in China were now planning to target a broader range of US sites.

Wang Wei and his wife
Wang Wei: Death caused a storm
He said the Chinese hackers had initially focused on official US websites, posting patriotic and anti-American slogans, to express their anger at the loss of a Chinese pilot in the recent collision between a Chinese fighter and a US surveillance plane.

Hackers have also posted pictures of the dead pilot, Wang Wei.

But the Beijing-based hacker said Americans had targeted all kinds of Chinese websites and had placed pornographic pictures on the home page of the official Beijing radio station.

He said his group, known as the Honkers' Alliance, aimed to hit 1,000 US websites of various types over the next two days.

Two waves of attack

The onslaught is timed to coincide with China's 4 May public holiday, which commemorates Chinese resistance to foreign powers in the early part of the 20th century.

Hacked US sites
Department of Labor
Department of Health and Human Services
US House of Representatives
US Surgeon General
Department of Energy
US Interior Department
The hacker said there would also be a series of attacks on 18 May, the second anniversary of the bombing by Nato of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

He said members of his group had received no official support and had met through internet chat rooms.

Many are believed to be students who have led the way in criticisms of the US on Chinese internet bulletin boards in recent weeks.

There has been no official condemnation of the hackers, though police have warned Chinese websites to be on the alert for attacks from the US.

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