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China becomes major victim of cyberattacks: computer security official

08-10-2011 16:45 BJT

DALIAN, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- China has become one of the world's biggest victims of cyberattacks, with Chinese Internet operators and users being harassed nearly "every moment," a computer security official said Wednesday.

China was hit by nearly 493,000 cyberattacks last year, about half of which appeared to have originated from foreign countries, including the United States and India, according to a report issued on Tuesday by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC), the country's primary computer security monitoring network.

Most of the attacks came in the form of malicious "Trojan" software used by hackers to gain access to target computers, according to Zhou Yonglin, head of the CNCERT/CC's operation and management department.

About 10 percent of China's 45,000 government websites were targeted by hackers last year, up 67.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the report.

The report said 14.7 percent of the attacks came from Internet Protocol addresses (IPs) located in the United States, with another 8 percent located in India.

However, cyberattacks go beyond the boundaries of nations due to the openness of the Internet, making it difficult to truly determine where the attacks are coming from, Zhou said.

"We cannot say for certain that the hackers were located abroad simply because their Internet Protocol addresses (IPs) were located in other countries," Zhou said.

"Likewise, we cannot say that 'Chinese' hackers are actually in China simply because their IPs are located in China," Zhou added.

China has the world's largest population of Internet users, topping 485 million as of June this year, according to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

The country's online population is increasing at a rate of over 10 percent annually, according to the statistics.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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