China detains four for hacking fraud

China detains four for hacking fraud

China has detained four people and punished eight others for fabricating a massive leak of online personal data by hackers over the past month, the country’s Internet watchdog said.

China’s leading anti-virus software provider, Beijing-based Qihoo 360, claimed in late December that the personal information of more than 6 million users of the China Software Developer Network, the country’s largest programmers’ website, had been leaked by hackers, raising concerns about web security and triggering widespread panic.

The company said the leak included user IDs, passwords and e-mail addresses in clear text. The hacking case later escalated after the personal details of subscribers to more websites, including popular online shopping, gaming, social networking and even financial institution sites, were said to have been leaked.

However, a police investigation into the cases has found that most of those websites had not been attacked by hackers at all,” a spokesman with the National Internet Information Office said.

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