China Shut Down Biggest Hacker Training Site

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What is believed to be the country's biggest hacker training site has been shut down by police in Central China's Hubei province.

Three people were also arrested, local media reported yesterday. The three, who ran Black Hawk Safety Net, are suspected of offering others online attacking programs and software, a crime recently added to the Criminal Law. A total of 1.7 million yuan ($249,000) in assets were also frozen.

According to the provincial public security department of Hubei, the closure of the website had its roots in a previous Web attack and virus dissemination case in the city of Macheng in 2007, when police found some of the suspects caught were members of Black Hawk Safety Net.

Hubei province named Black Hawk Safety Net as the largest hacker training site in China, which openly recruited members and disseminated hacker techniques through lessons, trojan software and online forum communications.

Since it was established in 2005, the site had recruited more than 12,000 VIP members and collected more than 7 million yuan in membership fees. More than 170,000 people registered for free membership.

Police said more than 50 officers had been investigating the case. They seized nine Web servers, five computers and one car, and shut down all the sites involved in the case, according to the provincial public security department.

"I could download trojan programs from the site which allowed me to control other people's computers. I did this just for fun but I also know that many other members could make a fortune by attacking other people's accounts," said a 23-year-old member of Black Hawk Safety Net in Nanjing of East China's Jiangsu province, who asked to remain anonymous.

"It is not very difficult to do simple hacker tasks. Some hacker members are teenagers who dropped out of school and make money by stealing accounts," he said. A 20-year-old college student who registered with three different hacker training sites said a hacker training course costs from 100 to 2,000 yuan.

"Basically students were told how to steal accounts and use trojan programs. Sometimes trainers show us how to write programs," he said.

"But now it's very difficult to become a registered member. Some well-known hacker training sites have not been accessible since November," he said.

According to a report released by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China, the hacker industry in China caused losses of 7.6 billion yuan in 2009.

Cross Posted from Saumil Shah's blog here:
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Anthony M. Freed International laws developed to ensure security and internet freedom are optimal, but I seriously doubt we can get totalitarian nations like China to play by the rules - their less than commendable trade and copyright practices should be evidence of that fact.

Take Google/Aurora incident - now China has announced they shut down a hacker network. This is just PR.

China not only tolerates these kinds of operations aimed at other nations, they also actively engage in it at a state-wide level.

When something like Aurora is revealed, they can just swoop in and shut one operation down, claim they are a victim too, and the West just continues tolerating cyber attack after cyber attack, with no recourse.

At the same time, China is ever tightening its stranglehold on their web, and shoring up their systems to prevent cyber attacks from the outside.

It's ridiculous - our government requires holes and backdoors be left vulnerable in ours so they can collect intelligence on us.

I am afraid the only way we will be able to compete with China's strategy is to impose more and more restrictions on our our access. Take the Executive branch's capacity to "confiscate" Internet access and bandwidth at will if they determine there is a national security interest.

We will most likely see the Feds exercise an increasing level of control and monitoring in the name of "security" - and we will keep shipping technology to China that ends up in their missile systems and military satellites.

This is absolute insanity, it is short sighted, motivated by short term profits and greed, and we will pay a heavy price as we watch our once free society deteriorate into a totalitarian regime
Ray Tan Well, no matter it is in China or USA, the government or public security department will collect our privacy information in the name of security.

There is no dault that every country suffered the attacks from inside or out side hackers.

It is illeagel to transfer the malicious content or software.