Melbourne Film Festival Site Defaced, Fingers Point to Chinese Hackers
Article by George Norman
On 29 Jul 2009
The official web page of the Melbourne Film Festival, the biggest film festival in Australia, has been recently hacked into and the content on said webpage has been replaced with an image of the Chinese flag and some anti-Kadeer slogans. It seems that Chinese hackers are behind the attack and it also seems that a documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer is the reason why the attack was launched in the first place.

The Chinese hackers that defaced the Melbourne Film Festival website posted the following message: “We like film, but we hate Rebiya Kadeer! We like peace, and we hate East Turkistan terrorist! Please apologize to all the Chinese people! Hacked by oldjun!”


The Chinese Government, who blames the exiled Uighur leader for having enticed ethnic unrest in Xinjiang, has asked the festival’s organizers to withdraw the film about Rebiya Kadeer, but were turned down. According to Festival Director Richard Moore, abusive emails poured in when news that the festival will not comply with the Chinese Government’s requests broke out.

The documentary in question is called “Ten Conditions of Love”, is the product of Australian documentary-maker Jeff Daniels, and will be screened on the 8th of August. Rebiya Kadeer has been invited and will presumably attend the screening.

According to Senior Technology Consultant with Sophos, Graham Cluley, the attack could have been a lot worse. “In my view, movie-lovers should be breathing a sigh of relief. Political graffiti defacing a website may be against the law, but it's a lot better than hackers planting malicious code on your website designed to steal money or absorb your computer into a botnet. It might be wise for the owners of the festival website to count their lucky stars that the attack wasn't more serious, and take measures now to prevent further (and potentially more serious) security breaches in the future,” he said.

Tags: Hacker, China, Australia, Melbourne, Film festival, Security
About the author: George Norman
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Melbourne Film Festival Site Defaced, Fingers Point to Chinese Hackers
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