Hong Kong cyber attack briefly disrupts key protester forum

Protesters march in Hong Kong on Aug 31, 2019.
Protesters march in Hong Kong on Aug 31, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong appeared to be the target of a large digital attack in recent days, with a popular online forum used by protesters saying its servers were hit on Saturday (Aug 31).

Digital Attack Map, which provides information on daily cyber attacks around the world, showed the financial hub at the centre of distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks.

LIHKG, a forum used by demonstrators to organise mass rallies in Hong Kong, said its servers were hit maliciously by a large DDoS attack in a way that it had never seen before.

While some of LIHKG's services were interrupted, it was fully restored hours later, according to a post on Twitter.

This is the second large cyber attack to hit apps used this summer by protesters to organise during unrest in Hong Kong. In June, messaging service Telegram said it had been hit by a powerful attack coming out of China.

The protesters' use of messaging apps and chat rooms has allowed them to quickly change and implement plans, frustrating government efforts to control them.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said last week that she wouldn't rule out all measures to quell protests, including invoking an emergency rule that would allow her to unilaterally shut down the Internet or selectively block apps that were helping protesters organise.