China sees 21 percent jump in hacked govt sites in 2012

Some 1,802 government Web sites were hacked last year, while the U.S. were identified as a heavy contributor to mainframe hijacking and phishing activities against China.

China witnessed a spike in hacking activities, particularly against government Web sites, in 2012, with the United States identified as the largest source of these attacks.

A Xinhua report Tuesday cited the findings of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center (CNCERT), which revealed 16,388 Web pages in China were hacked last year. Of these, 1,802 were government Web sites and this represented a jump of 21.4 percent year on year, it noted. 

The CNCERT also said some 73,000 overseas Internet Protocol addresses were involved in hijacking nearly 14.2 million mainframes in China through Trojans or botnets, and the U.S. was the largest source of these activities.

As for phishing activities, the agency said it monitored 22,308 such sites targeting the growing Chinese online population. Of these, 96.2 percent of the sites were running on foreign servers and U.S.-based sites accounted for 83.2 percent of them. 

Such malicious online threats in China are expected to rise in the future. A CNCERT official, Zhou Yonglin, said in the report that new security risks will emerge with the application of new technologies such as cloud computing, and urged local stakeholders to pool their research efforts to enhance China's cybersecurity measures. 

The CNCERT report came on the heels of China's Premier Li Keqiang calling on both China and the United States to avoid making groundless accusations against each other concerning cybersecurity.

The South China Morning Post report on Monday cited Premier Li saying: "I think we should not make groundless accusations against each other, and spend more time doing practical things that will contribute to cybersecurity."