Internet users are complaining more and more about rampant online viruses, Trojan horses and spy software. It is said that users have prompted growing worries about web security in China. China has the world’s largest netizen population of 338 million.
Li Xiaodong, deputy director of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a government-affiliated web research organization, said China’s Web security was in dire need of improved technology and better legal structure to protect net users.
He said, "Hackers" activities are now running wild because they have easy access to free online attack tools. Also, a majority of crackers are not aware of the dangers of their pranks.
"They can easily obtain free attack tools on hacker websites, and launch assaults like guerrillas. But to defend against them demands comprehensive and powerful security systems."
While this is undoubtedly true, mention should be made of the fact that pirated software — which is widely used in China — often, in fact normally, carries naughty code which places stuff on the host machine.
Now users are being taught how to hack.
Nan Feng Chuang, a Guangzhou-based news biweekly, recently reported that the Beijing-based online school Hackbase had recruited more than a million members in the past three years.
Nan Feng Chuang reported the majority are young technical engineers, web administrators and college graduates. Many are keen to learn skills such as stealing online gaming accounts, sneaking into others’ mail accounts, or even attacking web servers.
Wang Xianbing, a security consultant with Hackbase, rubbished the allegations that their school was a "training base for hackers." He said, "We learn and teach skills merely to improve defensive capabilities. We won’t break the law." Of course not. Perish the thought. Dreadful suggestion.
The seventh amendment to China’s Criminal Law enacted in February extended the scope of computer safety protection from state computers to those for personal use. But relevant civil laws to safeguard personal cyberspace are still wanting.
China View reported that Liu Deliang, a law professor at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said in his blog that private virtual space should be protected just as real private property. No mention was made of pirated software.