Chinese police step up fight against hackers, with thousands captured

Updated: Dec 1, 2023 Print
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Chinese police have intensified the fight against hacker crimes over the past year, leading to the capture of more than 7,000 suspects, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

Police officers across the country have solved 2,430 criminal cases involving hackers since the start of last year, which has contributed to protecting data security and maintaining order in cyberspace, Li Tong, deputy head of the ministry's cybersecurity bureau, told a news conference.

Hacker crimes mainly include illegal intrusion into computer information systems, illegal acquisition of computer information system data, illegal control of computer systems and the provision of programs and tools for intrusion.

Statistics released by the ministry on Thursday showed that the number of hacking cases solved by Chinese police has risen three consecutive years, with an average annual growth rate of 27.7 percent.

While directly infiltrating and sabotaging computer information systems, criminals have also been discovered to have provided technical support and material information for other illegal activities such as telecom fraud, online gambling and online pornography, Shi You, a bureau official, said.

He said the methods used by hacking criminals have diversified with the rapid development of technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain, adding that thousands of hacker tools are circulating online.

"Most of the tools come with detailed tutorials and user-friendly interfaces, allowing people to carry out criminal activities such as vulnerability scanning and Trojan implantation without needing to have a high level of technical expertise," Shi said.

The average age of hackers had also been decreasing year by year, he added, revealing that there have been cases of elementary school students being proficient in using hacker tools.

Huang Xiaosu, another bureau official who specializes in technologies, said the victims of such crimes frequently have computer systems with security loopholes or have failed to install risk prevention software.

"Some victims had little security awareness, as they used simple passwords that were easy for hackers to attack," she added.

To solve the problem, Chinese police have increased security supervision and helped remove security loopholes, especially those in key information infrastructure areas, she said, urging individuals and departments to further enhance awareness of data security and upgrade their network systems in a timely manner.

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