China detains 15,000 suspected cyber criminals

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China’s central government announced that it has apprehended 15,000 people for jeopardising internet security, according to a report from Reuters.

In a statement posted on its website, the Ministry of Public Security said that local police officers looked into 7,400 cases of cybercrime, including fraud, hacking incidents, and the promotion of gambling.

They did not specify the exact period when the arrests were made, but one of the cases cited occurred in December 2014.

In one case, seven suspects were taken into custody after they allegedly took control of a company portal and flooded its pages with content related to gambling. In total, the police discovered that the perpetrators had breached 2,000 corporate websites.

The authorities also arrested people suspected of sending malicious messages to smartphone users. Unbeknownst to the recipients, the message included a link to downloadable malware that could control the mobile phone and pilfer the user’s personal information, such as credit card accounts.

One example of this type of malware is “xxShenqi”, which affected 110,000 users across China in 2014, according to the government’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team.

Last month, the authorities also started a six-month programme aimed at eliminating portals with “illegal and harmful information”. These include gambling and pornographic websites as well as those that sell firearms and explosives. So far, they have scrutinised 66,000 websites.

“For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cybercrimes,” added China’s Ministry of Public Security.

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