Hackers target China's e-commerce arena

As more Chinese engage in online shopping and banking activities, more cybercriminals will look to exploit security loopholes in these areas for illegal profits, report notes.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Cybercriminals are now eyeing China's online payments and banking systems to gain illegal profit as more people frequent these platforms, says China Daily.

In a report on Tuesday, it cited Beijing Rising Information Technology's study which stated how "a large number" of hackers are now eyeing e-transaction services for their own illegal gains as online shopping and banking become increasingly popular in the country.

For instance, a virus specially designed to steal private information from third-party promoters on online shopping site Taobao.com was among the top 10 most-detected viruses in the first half of 2012, the report noted.

Trojans were among the top threats during the same timeframe, having attacked about 740 million Chinese Internet users. More than 3.3 milion new viruses were also detected during this period, it added.

Over three million phishing sites were also discovered by Beijing Rising Information Technology--an increase of about 30 percent compared to the same period last year. "Phony banking and shopping Web sites were major sources of phishing attacks," the report noted.

"China is likely to face more severe, more complex, and more massive Web attacks from hackers who attempt to loot the nation's e-commerce platforms," it predicted.

The country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had stated in March that as part of its 12th E-commerce Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), it plans to drive the value of online shopping to 18 trillion yuan (US$2.86 trillion) by 2015. This target is possible due to China's rapidly developing mobile Internet, cross-border trade, growth in the small and midsize business sector, and online payment industry, it said.

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