Schneier on Security: It’s hard to know how serious this really is:
The screenshots appear as B-roll footage in the documentary for six secondsbetween 11:04 and 11:10 minutes — showing custom built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university. As of Aug. 22 at 1:30pm EDT, in addition to Youtube, the whole documentary is available on the CCTV website.
The screenshots show the name of the software and the Chinese university that built it, the Electrical Engineering University of China’s People’s Liberation Armydirect evidence that the PLA is involved in coding cyber-attack software directed against a Chinese dissident group.
The software window says “Choose Attack Target.” The computer operator selects an IP address from a listit happens to be 188.8.131.52and then selects a target. Encoded in the software are the words “Falun Gong website list,” showing that attacking Falun Gong websites was built into the software.
A drop-down list of dozens of Falun Gong websites appears. The computer operator chooses Minghui.org, the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
The IP address 184.108.40.206 belongs to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), according to an online trace.
The shots then show a big “Attack” button on the bottom left being pushed, before the camera cuts away.