China's Latest Online Crackdown Sees 900 Hackers Arrested

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China's Latest Online Crackdown Sees 900 Hackers Arrested

China has arrested more than 900 hackers in an online campaign launched in July amid criticism from the US over increasing hacker attacks originating from the Communist country and targeting top American commercial firms.

The suspects were involved in 400 cases and are accused of a wide range of cyber-crimes including swindling money from individuals and banks, the Ministry of Public Security said today.

In one case from March, five suspects hacked into the email accounts of a Vietnamese company planning to purchase goods worth $75,000 from a Chinese company, and gained pertinent trade information.

The five, including three foreigners, used that information to pose as staff of the Chinese company and obtained the money for the deal from the Vietnamese, state-run Xinhua quoted the Ministry's statement as saying.

In another case, a group of 31 suspects from China and South Korea stole bank card information from Korean citizens via Trojan programs and phishing websites.

Later the Korean suspects called the victims in the name of banking staff and transferred their deposits after luring them to remove the security settings, according to the statement.

The ministry said it had established 300 specialist facilities across the country to improve monitoring of cyber-crime and evidence collection and will strengthen international law enforcement cooperation in this area.

It also warned party and government organs and companies to make sure their electronic information is secure.

A number of US firms have complained of hacker attacks originating from China which Beijing consistently deny, saying it is also a victim of cyber attacks.

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the US in September this year, China said it had reached "important consensus" with Washington on combating cyber-crimes.

The issue figured prominently in Xi's talks with US president Barack Obama, who said hacker attacks from China were "not acceptable".

"We have been very clear to the Chinese that there are certain practices that they are engaging in, that we know are emanating from China and are not acceptable," Obama had said.

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