GitHub is going through a tough time as the DDoS attack continues to put the site on high alert. The popular US coding website was attacked early on Thursday, with a combination of several new and old techniques, causing intermittent outages.
The Wall Street Journal said China was the source behind the attack, but was unable to get an official statement from the Cyberspace Administration of China.
In support of its claim, WSJ reported that the DDoS attack is the result of huge traffic redirected from China's search engine Baidu to GitHub. As a result, GitHub suffered frequent outages. According to the report, the traffic was mainly directed towards two websites, Greatfire.org - an anticensorship organization that helps users within the country hop the virtual wall blocking access to the outer internet world popularly known as the Great Firewall of China" - and The New York Times' Chinese website.
GitHub addressed the large scale onslaught, which began around 2 am UTC on Thursday, 26 March, in a blog post last week. According to the coding website, the attack "involves a wide combination of attack vectors," which "include every vector we've seen in previous attacks as well as some sophisticated new techniques that use the web browsers of unsuspecting, uninvolved people to flood github.com with high levels of traffic."
GitHub also revealed that the aim of the attack is to "convince us to remove a specific class of content," but did not mention the details of the targeted content.
According to the recent update by GitHub on Twitter, the online repository is still trying to deflect the traffic surge. In China, the targeted sites are censored along with several other foreign media publications such as The Wall Street Journal.
GreatFire was attacked last week, resulting in a two-day outage. The serial attacks on GreatFire and GitHub bluntly points at attackers' intentions to block any website involved in methods to circumvent the Chinese firewall. GitHub's HTTPS serving allows the site to operate as a whole and does not let individual obstruction of particular sites, a feature that bodes well in favor of anti-censorship sites like GreatFire.