On Tuesday morning, GitHub experienced a DDoS attack on its servers that temporarily made the site unavailable to some users, but it successfully fought off the attack within a few hours. As with an earlier cyberattack on the code hosting site that occurred in March, many believe the event was related to software hosted by the service which allows Chinese users to get around the country’s “Great Firewall.”
On August 22, the Chinese developer behind the Shadowsocks secure proxy tool posted, “Two days ago the police came to me and wanted me to stop working on this. Today they asked me to delete all the code from GitHub. I have no choice but to obey. I hope one day I’ll live in a country where I have freedom to write any code I like without fearing.” That message was later deleted and replaced with one that read, “I believe you guys will make great stuff with Network Extensions.” While the main Shadowsocks repository no longer includes any code, other GitHub users have mirrored the project, meaning that it is still available.
Another firewall circumvention tool also reportedly disappeared from GitHub immediately before the DDoS attack.