• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : SIT182
  • University : Deakin University
  • Subject Name : Cyber Security

Great Firewall of China

Table of Contents


Reasons for Internet Regulation

Methods of bypassing the firewall



The Chinese Government has established an innovative electronic media surveillance and control program. China's Great Firewall is the fusion of the People's Republic of China's regulatory and technical steps to internally control the internet (Casey, 2018). In China, it's a position in Internet censorship in restricting links and slowing down cross-border Internet traffic to selected international websites. The result includes: limiting exposure to international sources of information, banning global internet resources such as Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, among others; along with mobile applications and forcing multinational firms to conform to national legislation (Tang, 2016). This paper will be discussing the motives for controlling the internet websites by the Chinese government, along with understanding how is the government able to block the connections, and if there is any way to bypass the great firewall of China.

Reasons for Internet Regulation

The reasons for China's Internet regulation was to avoid the dissemination of indecency and confrontation with the national religious rules that establish wicked doctrines and colonial gullible ideologies (Roberts, 2018). The regulation even prohibits ethnic conflicts from breaking out. The great firewall was designed as a system where the internet police censored IP addresses and URLs or routed clever keywords to access international internet infrastructure. As a result of this censorship, thousands of websites were inaccessible or barred. Google is one such website that has endured the same suffering contributing to the exit from the Chinese market.

Methods of Blocking the Content

One of the Chinese great firewall's purposes is to systematically block exposure to data with the help of hardware, primarily being Cisco, Huawei, and Semptian. Not all objectionable content is being banned, and scholars Jedidiah R. Crandall and others claimed in 2007 that the primary objective of censorship was of flagging and warning to promote self-censorship, rather than restricting the websites 100 percent. Fried (2020) in his article has highlighted some methods of blocking the content are:

1. IP range using black holes: A packet drop attack or black hole attack in computer networking is a form of denial-of-service attack where a router which is meant to transmit packets discards them instead. This typically happens as a consequence of a router being infected by multiple reasons.

2. DNS Spoofing, filtering, and reduction: DNS spoofing is achieved by swapping the IP addresses that are registered on the DNS list with those that are within the attacker control. If this is finished, when the users try to go to a specific website, they are guided to the false websites put in the encrypted DNS folder by the intruder (Farnan, Darer & Wright, 2016).

3. URL filtering using transparent proxies: Transparent proxies serve as mediators between a Web server and a customer. The transparent proxy intercepts the question as a customer connects to a connection before sending it on to the provider. Transparent proxies are known as transparent since the consumer does not recognize them

4. Quality service of filtering: Service Filtering is used to restrict the connection of any consumers to a database engine. It can also obstruct internet connectivity for a person.

5. TCP reset: A TCP reset is a TCP packet representing a current TCP link and having the RST bit set. It is usually submitted by a server rejecting a request, or from one party terminating the current link. The program that receives the RST then uses the TCP state machine to terminate the link (Clayton, Murdoch & Watson, 2006).

6. Man-in-the-middle attacks with TLS: A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is an intrusion in cryptography and information protection, where the intruder secretly relays and probably changes the messages between two people that think they connect explicitly with each other.

7. Active probing: Active probing is the latest phase in Internet censorship's continuing arms race. Users set up proxies to bypass blocks; censors replied by deep packet inspection (DPI) to recognize and block proxies, and circumvention complicated the identification of proxy protocols in effect. Deprived of its ability to recognize simple, passive protocols, the censor now goes straight to the root and interrogates the server immediately after finding a possibly suspect link. The sensor behaves like a recipient by providing its links to a supposed proxy server. If the server answers using a banned protocol, then the

Methods of Bypassing the Firewall

As the Great Firewall blocks IP addresses and domain names for portals and examines the data being submitted or retrieved; utilizing proxy servers and encrypting the data is a simple technique for circumvention of censorship (Stevenson, 2007). Some methods are as follows:

1. Basic transparent proxy (HTTP or SOCKS) without utilizing an authenticated gateway (such as HTTPS) allows nothing to bypass the advanced censors, thus, proxy servers beyond China may be used for bypassing the firewall.

2. VPNs (a virtual private network) are among the Westerners' most common resources for bypassing internet censorship.

3. Using protected DNS will overcome blocking of certain sites like Tor Project, and all of GitHub, and can be used to get more revocation.

4. Ignoring packets received by GFW for TCP reset. Distinguishing them by the TTL value (time to live), and not forwarding any additional packets to places that caused blocking behavior.


China's great firewall is a censorship program operated by China's government to block all material that is considered security-sensitive. This system has been engaged in big internet transmission blocking, thereby blocking the public from having access to any of the vital details. The primary reason as stated by the government was to prevent the people from accessing indecent content. One of the objectives of the Chinese great firewall's is to block exposure to data with the help of hardware, mainly being Septian, Cisco, and Huawei. The great firewall of China can block content by using black hole technology, DNS filtering, spoofing and redirection, using transparent proxies, quality service filtering, TCP resets, and active probing, amongst others. It is also possible to bypass the firewall using proxy servers outside the country, using different VPNs, ignoring TCP reset packets among others.


Casey, A. (2018). Climbing China's Great Firewall. Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal, 5(2), 2.

Clayton, R., Murdoch, S. J., & Watson, R., N., M. (2006). Ignoring the Great Firewall of China. https://www.cs.tufts.edu/comp/116/archive/fall2016/ctang.pdf.

Farnan, O., Darer, A., & Wright, J. (2016, October). Poisoning the well: Exploring the great firewall's poisoned dns responses. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM on Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (pp. 95-98).

Fried, L. (2020). How to get around the Great Firewall of China. Retrieved from https://toomanyadapters.com/get-around-great-firewall-china/.

Roberts, M. E. (2018). Censored: distraction and diversion inside China's Great Firewall. United States: Princeton University Press.

Stevenson, C. (2007). Breaching the great firewall: China's internet censorship and the quest for freedom of expression in a connected world. BC Int'l & Comp. L. Rev., 30, 531.

Tang, C. (2016). In-depth analysis of the Great Firewall of China. Retrieved from https://www.cs.tufts.edu/comp/116/archive/fall2016/ctang.pdf.

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