Chinese govt takes Black Hawk down

Authorities shut what was believed to be China's largest hacker training site, making three arrests and confiscating nearly US$249,000 in assets, says report.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

The Chinese government has shut down what it believes is the country's largest hacker training site, according to state-controlled media.

Police in Hubei province arrested three people behind Black Hawk Safety Net and seized 1.7 million RMB (US$248,880) worth of assets, the China Daily reported Monday. Among the equipment seized were Web servers, PCs and a car.

The trio were accused of offering online tools and Trojans to launch cyberattacks--an act that was recently added to the country's criminal legislation, according to China Daily.

Established in 2005, the Black Hawk site is recognized by the Hubei province as the largest hacker training portal, propagating hacking techniques via online tutorials, forums and software. It has recruited over 170,000 ordinary members, and collected more than 7 million RMB (US$1 million) in membership fees from 12,000 VIP registrants.

According to the provincial public security department of Hubei, the police were alerted to Black Hawk when they found its members among suspects caught for an online attack and virus dissemination case in Macheng city in 2007. As many as 50 police officers had been involved in the investigation, which eventually led to the arrest of the Black Hawk owners.

Citing China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China, China Daily also said the country saw losses totaling an estimated 7.6 billion RMB (US$1.1 billion) as a result of hacking incidents last year.

A blogger from F-Secure Labs welcomed news that the Black Hawk site had been brought down, noting in a blog post: "Kudos to the Chinese authorities for shutting down an online hacker training operation known as the Black Hawk Safety Net."

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