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Hackers' attacks on MOD site fail
Published on: 2009-11-19
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More than 2.3 million hacking attacks were launched against the Ministry of National Defense (MOD)'s new website during its first month online, the site's editor-in-chief Ji Guilin said Wednesday.

All of the attacks were repelled.

And the site at www.mod.gov.cn was not only popular among hackers. During the three months that followed its Aug 20 launch, 1.25 billion people visited the portal, Ji said.

Around 40 percent of the hits came from users in Beijing and the two provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu.

"The traffic reached 70 million on the first day and climbed to 130 million the day after," Ji said. He added that the attacks intensified when the military's profile was heightened.

"But none of the attacks succeeded."

Statistics from online information company Alexa showed there was a 7,330-fold increase in global page views during the first three months.

Users from the United States topped the list of international visitors to both the Chinese and English versions of the website, said Ji.

Internet surfers from Australia, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom were also enthusiastic visitors to the site, Ji said, without giving detailed numbers.

Topics most viewed by foreign visitors included "military photos", "top military leaders", "high-level events" and "military power", said Ji.

The ministry's website "will publish all that can be released to the public as soon as possible", he added.

Fan Jishe, a professor at the American Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the site's popularity internationally stemmed from "concern over what they call uncertainty about China's future".

"The Ministry of National Defense's website is an effective way to release information," Fan said. "I'm not sure whether these hacking attempts were organized, deliberate attacks or individual, spontaneous ones, or if they were carried out by Internet surfers who simply did it because they were bored."

The MOD launched the site in a bid to improve transparency in military affairs and national defense issues. The launch took place days after the Pentagon unveiled its revamped site, Defense.gov.

The MOD also set up an information office and introduced a spokesperson system last year, both for the first time in the ministry's history.

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