Website Covering Chinese Scandal, Boxun.com, Targeted By Hackers
An American, Chinese-language website that been detailing the scandal of a former Chinese Communist Party official claims that they were the victim of a cyberattack on Friday, according to BBC News reports.
According to the British news agency, the website, Boxun.com, was forced to move to a new webhost following a denial of service attack that had “crippled” the page for several hours. They had been covering a scandal involving ousted Chinese official Bo Xilai, who had previously been removed from “key political posts” while his wife was being investigated for the alleged murder of a British businessman, the BBC said.
“Boxun’s original webhost, Name.com, told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that the hack was one of the biggest in the company’s history,” the UK media outlet added. “It reportedly followed an emailed threat that it would be attacked if it did not disable the site. It is not clear who launched the attacks, but the manager of Boxun.com, Watson Meng, was quoted as saying he believed they were ordered by China’s security services.”
In addition to the accusations that Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, had been linked to the November murder of UK businessman Neil Heywood, Bloomberg News also reports that the former Chongqing head could have been using his influence to secure lucrative positions for his son and members of his extended family.
Their report state that Bo’s son, Li Wangzhi, was “among the Citigroup Inc. bankers gathered in Hong Kong on Aug. 11, 2006, with the mayor of the northeastern Chinese city of Tieling to discuss investments in an industrial park,” and that the Bo family fortune of at least $136 million may fuel perceptions of corruption in the Communist Party and deepen social tensions over China’s widening wealth gap.”
“The danger for them, the Chinese, is that the whole of the Politburo and their Central Committee colleagues will be exposed as a new property-owning class,” Roderick MacFarquhar, a Harvard University professor who is an expert on Chinese politics, told Bloomberg on Sunday. “It’s already got out of hand. The problem for the regime is that it is now out in the public sphere.”
Furthermore, New York Times reporters Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield said that Bo “has suddenly found himself the target of the same media apparatus that he once so carefully manipulated, and that now vilifies him in the name of the party’s leaders… As it announced the purge, the party unleashed the full arsenal of its propaganda machine against Mr. Bo, pressing news organizations across the nation into an extraordinary campaign urging support for the party’s decision to oust Mr. Bo, editors and media executives say. It has arguably been the greatest mobilization to support a decision by the party since the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.”
That media scrutiny, they added, began on April 10 when Xinhua, the state-controlled news agency, first reported on Bo’s suspension from his post and the charges that were being levied against his wife. Among those covering the story was Boxun.com, a North Carolina-based website that, according to the BBC, had been founded some 12 years ago in order to champion democracy and human rights in China.