Chinese Hackers Declare 'Cyber War' Over

A self-styled alliance of Chinese computer hackers has called a halt to attacks on U.S. Web sites, after claiming to have broken into more than 1,000 sites.

The group that calls itself the "Hongke Union" thanked hackers for taking part in the campaign against U.S. Web sites, but said it would not be connected to any further attacks.

Chinese hackers declared a weeklong war on U.S. sites, from April 30 to May 7, after a U.S. Navy spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet setting off a diplomatic standoff. The fighter pilot was killed in the April 1 collision.

Hackers attacked the White House Web site on May 4, leaving it completely blocked or difficult to access for about six hours. However, the White House never disclosed the origin of that attack or suggested it was Chinese.

"Our Hongke Union attacked more than 1,000 American Web sites. We have fulfilled the goal of our counterattack," said a statement posted on ChinaByte, a Chinese site that said it came from the group.

ChinaByte's news editors knew group members and had asked them to send information about their attacks, said a ChinaByte employee who gave her name only as Miss Long.

U.S. federal authorities had warned American businesses to guard against an upsurge of attacks following the collision. U.S. hackers responded by defacing Chinese government and commercial sites with pornographic images and messages promoting drug abuse.

Without mentioning the spy plane collision, the Hongke Union statement said its attacks were an "outpouring of dissatisfaction."

"Through this action we discovered that patriotic feelings still exist in the hearts of most Chinese," said the statement, dated Wednesday.

Some sites were defaced with anti-American messages, while pictures of Wang Wei, the Chinese pilot who died in the April 1 collision, were posted on others.