Oracles Internet Intelligence division today confirmed the findings of an academic research paper that accuses China of taking over the crucial backbone of the Internet from Western hands. China Telecom would hijack Internet traffic from the west and redirect it through its own infrastructure.

The research paper was published two weeks ago. The research came from the US Naval War College and Tel Aviv University and caused a lot of publicity. The researchers accused China Telecom, one of the largest Chinese state internet providers, of hijacking and redirecting internet traffic through its own normally closed infrastructure.

Internet hijackings

There were a number of security researchers who then stated that they could not endorse the findings, because it did not come from one of the most important authorities in the field of Internet hijackings. But they were also unable to endorse the research, because it concerned a number of very politically sensitive subjects. The focus was on Chinese cyber-espionage practices and it was described how China uses BGP hijacking to circumvent the China-US cyber pact of 2015.

Today, however, Doug Madory, director of Oracles Internet Analysis division, confirms that China Telecom is indeed reducing Internet traffic. I’m not going to go into the paper’s claims about the motivation behind these actions, Madory began. But there is truth in the claim that China Telecom (consciously or unconsciously) has diverted Internet traffic (including from the United States) in recent years.

I know this because in 2017 I tried very hard to put an end to these practices. He then explained in detail how the BGP hijacking works exactly. American Internet traffic that requested information from American sites was hijacked and redirected to China before returning to the US.

As far as Madory is concerned, ISPs must implement new BGP standards, including RPKI. These are ways to prevent parties from diverting internet traffic.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.