Languages
Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

China shuts down training website for hackers

Internet users in China (file image)
China has more internet users than any other country

China has closed down what is believed to be the country's biggest training website for hackers, state media has reported.

They say the site, Black Hawk Safety Net, gave lessons in hacking and sold downloads of malicious software.

The reports say three people suspected of running the site were arrested.

Hacking is a sensitive topic for China, especially since the internet giant Google recently threatened to pull out of the country.

Google said China-based hackers had attacked its operations but the Chinese government denied any involvement.

The hacker training operation openly recruited thousands of members online and provided them with cyber attack lessons and Trojan software, the China Daily and the Wuhan Evening News said.

Trojans, which can allow outside access to a computer when implanted, are used by hackers to illegally control computers.

Black Hawk Safety Net recruited more than 12,000 paying subscribers and collected more than seven million yuan ($1m: £650,000) in membership fees, while another 170,000 people had signed up for free membership, the paper said.

The Hubei government refused to comment on the reports.

It was unclear when the shutdown had taken place but the Black Hawk Safety Net site was unavailable on Monday.

Cyber attacks

In January Google threatened to pull out of China unless the government relented on censorship.

It said it had uncovered a computer attack that tried to plunder its software coding and the e-mail accounts of human rights activists protesting against Chinese policies.

Government officials have defended China's online censorship and said the country is the biggest victim of web attacks.

China has some 350 million internet users - more than any other country - and provides a lucrative search-engine market worth an estimated $1bn last year.

Google holds about a third of the country's search market, with Chinese rival Baidu having more than 60%.

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says that the reports made no link between the hacking site and Google's allegations.

But the case will help authorities show that China is taking action against those who hack into computers, says our correspondent.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Google 'sister' launches in China
27 Jan 10 |  Technology
China rebuffs US internet demands
22 Jan 10 |  Asia-Pacific
US calls for China Google probe
21 Jan 10 |  Americas
China scales back screening plan
13 Aug 09 |  Technology
China's computers at hacking risk
10 Jun 09 |  Technology



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific